nitiative proves worth as welcome public good: China Da

Convening nearly 40 foreign leaders and representatives from more than 150 countries, th

e Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which opens in Beijing on Thursday, testifi

es to a growing aspiration for collaboration amid rising unilateralism and protectionism.

The conspicuous increase in the size of foreign participation com

pared with the inaugural forum two years ago corrobo

rates United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ earlier comment that the Belt and Road Initia

tive, like the UN Millennium Development Goals, is a public good for the entire world.

Since President Xi Jinping proposed the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in 2013, some pe

ople have tried to persistently frame them as geopolitical tools. While such a label and subsequent fearmong

ering have stirred up worries in the ill-informed, they can’t hoodwink those with insight.

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Some facts may be twisted and distorted to sensatio

nal proportions. But nothing can obliterate the tangible benefits the development initiative has brought. In less than six

years, the nascent Belt and Road are already changing development landscapes in multiple places and dime

nsions. Thanks to the initiative, East Africa has seen its first expressway, the Maldives its first cross-sea bridge, Belar

us its own car-manufacturing enterprise, and landlocked Kazakhstan finally has access to the sea.

And while China-Cambodia trade may not look to be in perfect balan

ce at this point, Belt and Road cooperation between the two neighbors is laying a solid fo

undation for the latter’s future progress. Take the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone for instance. An exem

plary project under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, it is expected to host 300 enterprises, create 100,0

00 industrial jobs, and serve as a resident-friendly new community housing 200,000 people.

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Investment spurs BRI countries’ growthTwo-way investment

tween China and economies related to the Belt and Road Initiative ex

ceeded $130 billion between 2013 and 2018, injecting new growth momentum into BRI-rela

ted countries and contributing to recovery of the global economy, senior Chinese officials said on Monday.

China’s direct investment in BRI-related countries grew by 5.2 percent a

nnually on average to surpass $90 billion between 2013 and 2018, Song Lihong, an officia

l in the Ministry of Commerce’s Comprehensive Department, said at a news conference.

Song said that in the same period, China had received a total of

$40 billion in inbound investment from BRI countries as two-way investment deepened.

Within the five years, the value of the projects completed

by Chinese companies in BRI economies amounted to $400 billion, Song said.

The value of trade in goods between China and BRI-related economies exceeded $6 trillion in the same period, an av

rage annual growth of 4 percent, higher than the overall growth of China’s foreign trade, he added.

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Regarding the second Belt and Road Forum for Intern

ational Cooperation, to be held in Beijing on Thursday through Saturday, S

ong said the ministry will help deepen economic and trade cooperation with other coun

tries. “China will build more free trade zones with countries that are willing to do so,” Song added.

“As for the existing free trade zones, we will reduce administrative barriers in trade

and investment and push the formation of a big Belt and Road marketplace.”

While some critics have argued that the initiative will lead countries i

nto debt traps, Song said debt can be solved through joint efforts to promote the devel

opment of BRI economies. “Even though some countries may have high debt levels, as their pace of indus

trialization, urbanization and modernization accelerates, their debts will gradually decrease.”

Joe Kaeser, president and CEO of Siemens AG, said, “If an initiative like the BRI unifies more than two-thirds of the global

population, it will create massive infrastructure and economic movement that will build its own rules.”

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It is reported that the IS terrorist organization has clai

med it was behind the horrific attacks. Yet whoever the perpetrators, the attacks on innoc

ent people should be condemned in the strongest terms, and those responsible arrested and punished.

Since Sri Lanka has been facing some political and e

conomic problems, and increasingly acute social conf

licts for the past few years, the attacks seem to reveal not just sectarian disputes but also cer

tain people’s dissatisfaction with the situation in the island nation, and the rest of South Asia.

The motive behind the attacks could be helplessness and desperation of certain sections of Muslims in South Asia.

The rise of Islamic extremism has to some extent fueled the rise of white supremac

ist groups in the United States and some European countries. Perhaps the conflict between Islamic extremism and

the anti-Muslim forces today is greater than that immediately after the Sept 11, 2001, attacks in the US.

And the rising tensions in South Asia and other regions should prompt govern

ments to take sound measures to prevent the spread of extremism inside their borders.、

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Xi underlines studies on May Fourth Movementnjiang

The call made by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, for more study of the

May Fourth Movement, will help younger generations better understand the value of its spirit, observers said.

Xi underlined the need to strengthen studies of the May Fourth Move

ment and its spirit during a speech at the group study session of the Political Bureau of the C

PC Central Committee on Friday, according to a news release issued on Saturday.

This year is the 100th anniversary of the movement launch

ed by young intellectuals and participated in by people from all walks

of life. It was a political, anti-imperialist movement that stemmed from student demonstrations in Beijing on May 4, 1919.

Presiding over the session on the historical significance and modern value of the movement, Xi said the studies shoul

d elaborate on why the movement is of great and far-reaching significance for development and progress in conte

mporary China, and why Marxism has become a guide for the cause of the Chinese people’s revolution, construction and reform.

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Xi’s remarks will guide younger generations in taking his

tory as a mirror, and combining their personal ideals with the dream of national rejuvenation, Hu Xianzhong, a senior re

searcher at the China Youth and Children Research Center, said in an article published by China Youth Daily on Sunday.

Since the movement began nearly a century ago, the country’s youth

has been collectively marching with the times and the people under the leadership of the C

PC-whether in periods of revolution, construction, or in the nation’s campaign of reform and openingup, Hu said.

As the centenary of the movement draws near, a good understanding of its history will make yout

hs know more about why their futures are closely connected with the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation so that

they will find their niches and play bigger roles in the country’s socialist cause, he added.

Chen Yuhao, a postgraduate student at the U

niversity of International Business and Economics, said the spirit of patriotism, progress, democracy and s

cience is still the core value of Chinese youth, and should be upheld and carried forward in the new era.

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We believe that with the passing of time and the sy

nergy of all parties, Belt and Road cooperation will definitely become deep and concrete, steady and extensive,” the report said.

“The Belt and Road will become a road of peace, prosperity, opening up, green development, innovatio

n, connected civilizations, and clean government. It wi

ll make economic globalization become more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all.”

China will improve its oversight of human related scientific research and medic

al tests under draft laws and amendments submitted to China’s top legislature for review on Saturday.

Medical and scientific research related to human genes and embryos mi

ght present risks to health or violate ethics, and they must be strictly regulated therefore, said She

n Chunyao, senior legislator of the Constitution and Law Committee of the National People’s Congress.

A new item has been added to the country’s draft civil law, requiring that all

medical and scientific research related to human genes and embryos must f

ollow strict rules, laws and regulations, and should not pose a threat to people’s health or violate moral or ethical codes.

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Meanwhile, massive rescue operations are underway at

the explosion sites, the police said.Television footage showed ambulances r

ushing the injured to the Colombo National Hospital, the Batticaloa Hospital in

the east and the Negombo Hospital on the outskirts of the capital where the explosions took place.

There has been no claim of responsibility so far for the multiple blasts.

In just one church, St. Sebastian’s in Katuwapitiya, north o

f Colombo, more than 50 people had been killed, a police official told Reuters.

Media reported 25 people were also killed in an attack on a church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called a national security council meeting at his home for later in the day.

One of the explosions was at St Anthony’s Church in Kochcikade, Colombo.

St. Sebastian’s church posted pictures of destruction inside the church on its Fa

cebook page, showing blood on pews and the floor, and requested help from the public.

Out of Sri Lanka’s total population of around 22 million, 70 percent are Buddh

ist, 12.6 percent Hindu, 9.7 percent Muslim, and 7.6 percent Christian, according to the country’s 2012 cen

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A PLA Navy carrier battle group sails in formation. en active in

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy has been active in pr

oviding security products for the international community since its founding, Qiu said.

The navy has paid over 100 visits to 94 countries and 138 ports, and has held more th

an 60 joint military drills with foreign navies over the 70 years, according to Qiu.

Since 2008, the navy has sent 32 escort fleets, 103 vessels, 69 helicopters and more than 27,000 officers and soldiers to escor

t over 6,600 vessels, more than a half of which were foreign merchant ships, he added.

Since 2010, the naval hospital ship Peace Ark has traveled to 43 countries and regions and provided free medical servi

ces to over 230,000 people, Qiu said.Under the current IPO system, new shares are subject to approval from t

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