Patricia

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed the hope on Febru

that China should be involved in international disarmament efforts. “We would of course be glad if such talks were held not j

ust between the United States, Europe and Russia but also with China,” said Merkel at the 55th Munich Security Conference.

Her remarks were clearly directed against Washington and Moscow’s withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee,

who was also present at the conference, reiterated that “we [China] are opposed to the multilateralization of INF.”

The INF treaty concerns Europe and Germany’s interests. The US took the lead in abandoning INF, resulting in the collapse of the arms control system.

It is understandable that Berlin is anxious, but Merkel’s hasty call for Beijing is rath

er inappropriate. Her words disrespect China’s interests and wishes, and objectively encourage Washington to quit irresponsibly.

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The US team expressed the willingness to make joint effor

rts with the Chinese team to strive for the conclusion of a deal that meets the interests of both sides.

“We bring the best wishes of President Trump. He’s asked 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 working relationship and would like to keep in contact with him.

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he story has caused an uproar in Sweden. Gui made it clear that

she would not keep quiet in exchange for various conditions and the Western media is backing her stand. The Swedish Mi

nistry of Foreign Affairs said it already launched an internal investigation into Lindstedt, who had been appointed for an

other position in the Swedish government in March. Lindstedt has now been recalled to her country.

Is Angela Gui telling the truth? The Chinese Embassy in Sweden has responded that China has never and will never authorize

anyone to be in contact with her. China handled Gui’s case in accordance with the law and legal p

rocedures. People need to be aware of Angela’s unique position as Gui Minhai’s daughter; and, considering her lack of ex

perience in distinguishing complex issues, it is necessary for people to be cautious about her story.

However, the role of Ambassador Lindstedt is also part of this. If she did arrange a meeting between Angela Gui a

nd the Chinese businessmen not authorized by Beijing, then we can make the following analysis.

First, there are domestic groups in Sweden that hope the relationship between Sweden and China will not be a

ffected by Gui’s incident in the long term. They are willing to facilitate public discussions between Stockholm and B

eijing on this matter. Ambassador Lindstedt herself is a representative of such groups.

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Moreover, the West likes to attack China by using Chinese

dissidents and their families. Western countries believe that they can easily dig up stories about those people and they can be easily manipulat

ed as well. However, what happened with Angela Gui has sent a clear message that there is always the risk of it backfiring. Those peopl

e are fully aware of being used by some Western interests, which results in a strong sense of insecurity and suspicion. Some of them are also selfish. A f

ew years ago, a Chinese dissident well-known in the West left China for the US and later embarrassed his American patrons.

Furthermore, nowadays Western public opinion is increasingly radical and populist, which has made it difficult for some countrie

s to adopt a realistic approach and repair relations with China after disputes. Some prominent for

eigners who have a comprehensive understanding of China are facing an increasing risk of acting differently from t

he radical sentiment. Recently, John McCallum, Canadian ambassador to China, was criticized and finally lost his po

sition, due to his attempt to ease the China-Canada relationship regarding the incident of Meng Wanzhou.

Last but not least, the incident has primarily embarrassed the Swedish Foreign Ministry m

ore than causing trouble to China. Some Western media claim that Anna Lindstedt’s behavior pr

oves China exercises significant influence on ambassadors of Western countries to China. Such a comment is hi

ghly unprofessional and makes no sense except to show they do not know what they are talking about. Am

bassadors are usually among those in their own country who hope at the utmost to maintain sound relations with th

e country to which they are posted. Generally, they are supposed to play a dovish role, not a hawkish one. Some We

stern media authors need to learn basic ABC knowledge of diplomacy. (The author is a commentator with the Global Times)

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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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Easing likely with slowing of economiespected to move

na may move more toward monetary easing, joining a group of other major economies prone to dovish policy typified by more accommodative measures that stimulate growth, analysts said.

This comes at a time when global central bank governors have become more concerned about an economic slowdown and put tightening measures on hold.

Central bankers in the United States, European Union, Japan and Oceania have had a change in

mood in the past month, given worries that a too tight monetary environment may not cushion the

ir economies from shocks from trade tensions, Brexit and financial vulnerabilities. They sounded the alarm ov

er global uncertainties after the International Monetary Fund downgraded its forecast of the world’s economic growth in January.

With bank governors delivering dovish speeches one after another, the Chinese mo

netary authority is considering an adjustment to financial institutions’ “act

ual” lending rate for companies in order to remove the “obstacle” that constrains credit flowing into the co

untry’s production sector, according to Sun Guofeng, head of the PBOC Monetary Policy Department

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Which is why US President Donald Trump’s latest remarks

that the negotiations have been progressing “very well” and he might reportedly even let the March 1 deadline “slide for a little while” — have been taken as portents that progress is being made and a positive result may well be on the way.

Especially as White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has raised the possibility of Trump meeting with Pres

ident Xi Jinping at the US president’s personal retreat at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, sometime in March — The White Ho

use has previously said the two leaders would have to meet to strike the final bargain.

The market never lies, as the saying goes. Let’s hope that’s true, because the stock market has already

cast a vote of confidence in China and the US being able to reach a deal. The bench mark S

hanghai Composite Index has rebounded more than 10 percent, and the Dow Jones industrial average, more than 15

percent, from their lows in December when Sino-US trade tensions were running high.

It is apt that melting snow symbolizes a new beginning, as positive progress in the talks would m

ean a convergence of expectations for bilateral relations and help ensure the Sino-US relationship has a s

olid foundation of mutual trust and good momentum for positive interaction at the start of its fifth decade.

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hina has seen 4.8 percent yearly growth in foreign dire

rect investment in January, and its high-tech service industry has seen the most dramatic increase in the use of foreign capital.

According to Ministry of Commerce data released Thursday, the country has attracted 84.18 bil

lion yuan ($12.41 billion) in FDI in the first month of 2019, up 4.8 percent year-on-year.

Foreign capital flowing to the country’s high-tech service sector in January has mo

re than doubled compared to the same period in 2018, reaching 15.77 billion yuan.

The total FDI used in the manufacturing industry has also climbed by 5 percent y

ear-on-year, totaling 26.7 billion yuan. The service sector has used 56.2 billion yu

an in FDI, up 5.1 percent, and the high-tech industry has seen a 40.9 percent yearly growth of FDI used.

FDI from the United States has seen a staggering 124.6 percent year-on-year growth.

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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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Zheng Wen, director-general of the ministry’s department of

circulation industry development, said online sales have become an important engine to stimulate domestic spending and i

mports. “Durable consumer goods with high-tech features and branded foreign products have huge commercial potential,” Zheng said.

Chinese e-commerce giant JD reported robust sales between Feb 3 and Friday, with sales revenue jumpi

ng 42.74 percent year-on-year. Smartphones, computers and home appliances were the top three items on JD in terms of sales value.

Chinese consumers tend to buy high-quality and diversified products, the comp

any said. Kitchenware sales posted the strongest growth — 399 percent year-on-year. That was followed by furniture and

luggage, with their respective sales revenue up 185 percent and 148 percent, JD reported.

China UnionPay, the country’s largest bank card operater by market share, saw its total transaction volume over the ho

liday period reach 1.16 trillion yuan, jumping 71.4 percent year-on-year, the company said on Monday.

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