By becoming the first G7 member to join the Belt

Road Initiative, Italy has set an example for other European countries on how to strengthen cooperation with China in the future.As for C

hina and France, the two countries inked agreements on deepening joint development, part

icularly through industrial cooperation. The two sides also signed billions of dollars worth of contracts.Now tha

t French President Emmanuel Macron, a firm supporter of European integration, has taken measures to im

prove China-France cooperation, the healthy and fruitful progress of Sino-French ties can in turn promote better C

hina-EU relations. Macron has always emphasized France’s position in the European integration project and China sup

ports his efforts.By reaching agreements on cooperation, Xi and Macron have paved the way for not only deep

er Sino-French cooperation but also overall Sino-EU cooperation, which was highlighted during Xi’s meeting with Germ

an Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

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hina aims to reduce cost of logisticsna aims to reduce

 logistics costs by nearly 121 billion yuan ($17.8 billion) this year, the Ministry of Transport an

nounced on Thursday at a news conference of the State Council Information Office.

Spokesman Wu Chungeng said the ministry will unveil a st

ring of measures not only to cut costs but to promote innovative development of the industry.

China will continue to increase railway freight volume, upgrade its

water transportation system, regulate highway freight transport and speed up mul

timodal transport in a bid to improve its logistics network and optimize its structure, Wu said.

It will also further integrate important ports and harbors into the inland multimodal transport and logistics netw

ork, which will connect them with more railways and highways and enable improved cargo interoperability, he said.

The country will also expand the use of pilot programs to deepe

n reform of the administrative law enforcement system in the logistics industry to improve i

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hina to improve transport efficiency, reduce logistics costs

China will unveil various measures to improve transport efficiency and lower logistics costs, according to a spokesperson for the transport ministry.

Vowing to see a notable increase in transport efficiency in the next

three years, the country will accelerate the construction of a comprehensive tra

nsport network, spokesperson Wu Chungeng told a news conference on March 28.

Efforts will also be made to expand the electronic toll collection system and promote multimodal transport, Wu said.

Meanwhile, the logistics costs are expected to be reduced by 120.9 billion yuan (about $17.97 bil

lion) in 2019, and a logistics service system in line with the country’s high-quality growth will be established over the next three years.

To fulfill such targets, the ministry will optimize transport struct

ure, upgrade rail, road and waterway transport systems and expand the network of logistics hubs, Wu said.

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Considering that the aircraft faces uncertainties in its airwo

irworthiness, after looking into the matter, the administration decided to suspend Boe

ing 737 MAX 8 airworthiness certifications immediately,” the Civil Aviation Administration of China said in a sta

tement unveiled on Tuesday, adding that the ongoing investigation had not ruled out design flaws in the aircraft.

“A certificate is granted by the country’s regulator after an aircraft has been inspected and

meets the requirements for safe operation,” said Li Xiaojin, a professor of aviation economics at Civil Aviatio

n University in Tianjin, “It’s a long process to determine whether an aircraft is airworthy.”

It took Boeing 15 months to get an airworthiness certificate for the first 737 MAX 8 from the a

dministration, he said, adding that the certificate was issued in October 2017.

The administration has sent experts to participate in investigations and will rev

iew the model’s airworthiness with a focus on alterations to the jet engine design and pla

cement. It will resume accepting applications for the certificate after the aircraft design is found to meet the requirements.

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Liu, the spokesman, said the ministry dispatched a team co

nsisting of 49 experts from institutes affiliated with the ministry and universities

, including Tsinghua University, to the site to help with the environmental aftermath from the explosion.

He also said the team has cut off the access of three rivers to Guanhe River, which empties into the sea, to prevent the pollution from spreading.

The three rivers inside the chemical industry park wer

e found contaminated soon after the blast. On Wednesday, an excessive amount of pollutants was still de

tected in two water bodies in the chemical park — the Xinfeng River and Xinnong River.

According to the Jiangsu environmental watchdog, the density of ammonia nitrogen in Xinfeng River reached 183 millig

rams per liter, 90.5 times higher than the national standard, at 10 am on Wednesday. The content of methylene chlor

ide in the river was about 15 times above the national standard with a density of 0.321 mg/L. The ch

emical oxygen demand in the water body stood at 343 mg/L, 7.6 times above the national standard, the watchdog said.

The watchdog also found an excessive amount of these pollutants in Xinnong River, though with much lower densities.

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After a two-hour hearing on Wednesday, the top court up

held the original ruling, and said the two companies should stop their infringement immediately.

The Shanghai IP Court will further calculate the exact amou

nt of compensation that the two Chinese companies should pay to Valeo, accor

ding to the verdict. During the first trial, Valeo had requested compensation of 6 million yuan ($893,000).

Wednesday’s trial is of great significance as it shows China’s growing efforts in protecting IPR, the top court said in a release.

“It shows the country’s strong determination in fighting infringement, and intensif

ied judicial protection for IPR and innovation-driven development,” said Ma Yide, an intel

lectual property professor from Zhongnan University of Economics and Law who attended the hearing.

The final verdict was reached only two months after the original one.

Such a fast pace reflects improved efficiency in handling IP-related lawsuits in Chinese courts, he said.

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Xie Zenggang, commander of the 83rd Group Army who t

 took the examination, was quoted by China National Radio as saying that it had broade

ned his horizons and enabled him to gain a higher strategic perspective that can be used in planning future operations.

“It also reminded me of the necessity that as a commander, I not only need to take into consideration joint o

perations by various services in the PLA but also to think about joint campaigns with foreign militaries,” he said.

In June, the Ground Force organized a test for commanders of its 13 group armies – its la

rgest combat units. Since the start of this year, the Ground Force has conducted a wide range of exam

inations for almost all of its members to verify their professional knowledge and skills.

Geely and Daimler plan a 50-50 joint venture in China, which will develop and produce electric Smart br

anded vehicles and sell them globally starting from 2022, according to a deal the two signed earlier this week.

Representatives of the two carmakers said the Fi

nancial Times’ report of Daimler selling a 50 percent stake of Smart to Geely was not true.

Daimler, also owner of Mercedes-Benz, is currently prod

ucing the Smart branded vehicles in a plant in Hambach, France, but the plant will produc

e electric Mercedes-Benz models instead when the Chinese plant is finished. The location of the plant has not yet been disclosed.

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More appetite among Chinese, Asian collectors for Western art

hinese and Asian art collectors have become more knowledgeable, sophisticated and are branching out for m

ore Western works, said Francis Belin, president of Christie’s Asia, who is excited about the trend.

“Chinese clients have evolved from being very dedicated to Chinese arts to gaining increasing interest

in other categories and expanding the spectrum of the type of objects that they wish to collect,” Belin told

Xinhua in an interview in New York City during Christie’s Asian Art Week held on March 19-26.

Diversity of collecting is one of three “fundamental trends” the auction house has obse

rved among the Chinese and Asian buyers, Belin said, noting the increased appetite to collect across categories.

About 10 or 20 years ago, Asian collectors focused primarily on the art that relates to their own c

ulture, he said, “we’ve seen this evolved in the past years to be much more holistic in the collecting of our Asian buyers.”

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Zhang Zuhao, a sixth grade student, used to misbehave and h

ve and have little interest in his studies, not even finishing homework. In order to change his

attitude, Gao Ziren visited his home every weekend, talking with his parents about the importance of studying.

Zhang Guangxing, Zhang Zuhao’s father, still remembered when Gao Ziren first visited

his home. Because of Gao’s insistence, the parents paid more attention to the child’s studies.

Gao Ziren said that because he walked slowly, it was too late for him to visit stud

ents’ homes after school, and therefore, he visited them on the weekends.

Now, many children follow their parents to live and study in cities, while som

e become left-behind children who live in rural areas and lack family care. Gao said it w

as important to be patient with left-behind children and pay more attention to their mental health.

Gao Xinyue, a second grade student who lives with her grandparents because her paren

ts work outside the rural area, was reticent and very timid when she first came to the school, performing poorly in her studies.

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Chen, who worked outside of Guizhou for many years

ow works in the village as a manager of the dendrobium planting base.

“It’s wonderful that our village has an industry now, so I don’t have to leave my hometown anymor

e. Life is much more comfortable than in the past,” said Chen, adding that she now earns a monthly salary

of more than 3,000 yuan ($446). She can also cycle to work in just a few minutes and can take care of her two children and elderly mother-in-law.

“Without competing with agriculture, planting the dendrobium can liberate good fields,” Chen

said. “Without harming the grass or trees, we can achieve harmonious coexistence. High mou

ntains and deep forests do no harm to the plant, but can help restore authentic herbs.”

The period for flower gathering lasts from April to June every year, and the fresh branch picking period is from Novemb

er to March. Residents from the neighboring area can all come to work at the base, and a skilled worker can earn up to 500 yuan a day.

“Last year, the salaries we paid totaled more than 4 million yuan,” said Ruan, adding that the

re are always job vacancies at the base. During the peak picking period, more than 200 workers are needed every day.

As the cultivation features “zero chemical fertilizer, zero chemical pesticides, zero hor

mones, and zero transgenics”, dendrobium produced in Zhegui finds a ready market.

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