hina boosts measures to open economyivers the keyn

China will further open up to foreign investors and offer them treatment equal to that of domestic companies with firm prote

ction of their legitimate rights, Premier Li Keqiang said at the Boao Forum for Asia on Thursday.

The country will fully adopt pre-entry national treatment and negative lists for overseas

investment, Li said at the opening ceremony of the forum’s annual conference in Hainan province.

By the end of June, China will release the amended negative lists for foreign investment ac

cess, he said. “The negative lists will only be shortened. … We will ensure fair competition and common deve

lopment for Chinese and foreign companies with fair supervision,” Li told more than 2,000 participants.

A negative list shows areas where investment is prohibited; all other areas are presumed to be open.

The government has started formulating matching regulations and rules to supp

ort implementation of the Foreign Investment Law, adopted two weeks ago, Li s

aid, adding that supporting regulations will take effect along with the law on Jan 1.

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The country will further open up its financial sector and

accelerate the process to fully lower the market access threshold for foreign investments in

banking, securities and insurance, the premier said. Service sectors, including medical care and educ

ation, will be opened up along with transportation, infrastructure and energy, he said.

Li said China will further make it easier for foreign companies to set up a venture capital presence and will improve regulati

ons on foreign investors’ strategic investments in listed companies and their mergers with and acquisitions of domestic enterprises.

Also, preferential policies for investments from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan w

ill remain unchanged, and greater development opportunities will be offered for them, Li said.

Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalizaton, said he was impressed by Li’s speech to cl

ean up rules and regulations inconsistent with the Foreign Investment Law as well as to launch a more streamlined negative list.

“It shows China’s attitude of further opening-up, which is a higher-level and more concrete commitment of China,” he said.

Leif Johansson, chairman of global biopharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, said

Li’s speech reflects the determination to create a more open, fair and transpare

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Much work’ awaits new Sino-US trade talksnited Stat

hina and the United States will hold their eighth round of high-level economic and trade cons

ultations in Beijing on Friday, with “much work” remaining to be done, the Ministry of Commerce said.

Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday that the two nations have made some progre

ss through recent phone discussions between Vice-Premier Liu He and US Trade Representative Robert Ligh

thizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “But there remains much work to be done,” he said.

To iron out differences over certain economic and trade issues, China and the US have b

een intensifying their consultations. Next week, Liu will visit Washington for the ninth round of talks.

Negotiators from both sides are striving to implement consensuses reached betw

een the countries’ leaders in December, Gao said at a regular news conference.

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Event planned to fete PLA Navy’s 70th anniversary

More than 60 countries will send naval delegations to participate in the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Peo

ple’s Liberation Army Navy in late April, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday.

The celebration will showcase the progress of the PLA Navy and its growing capabili

ty in safeguarding China’s overseas interests as well as regional and world peace, an expert said.

The multinational naval event will take place in Qingdao, Shandong province, in late Ap

ril, said ministry spokesman Senior Colonel Wu Qian. April 23 is the 70th anniversary of the PLA Navy’s founding.

The naval event will include high-level dialogues, an international fleet review, military band performances, cultural and sports e

xchanges as well as other activities, Wu said. Some nations will send military ships to participate in the fleet

review, though details are still in the works and will be announced at a later date, he added.

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isit shows EU seeks deeper cooperationuropean Commiss

Editor’s Note: President Xi Jinping visited Italy, Monaco and F

rance from March 21 to 26. Why is the visit important for China-European Union rela

tions? Two experts share their views on the issue with China Daily’s Pan Yixuan. Excerpts follow:

Visit sets positive tones for China-EU relations

Xi’s visit to the three European countries has yielded substantial fruits of cooperation, the most significant being the

signing of a memorandum of understanding between China and Italy paving the way for Italy to participate in th

e China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative to promote mutual development.

The cooperation deals in fields such as trade and infrastructure that Italy has signed with

China will help the Italian government to boost the country’s economic recovery. For instance, the exp

ort of Sicily’s red oranges to China by air will be a small but important step toward boosting bilateral trade.

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Retail sales of local government bonds attract eager

Chinese local government bonds worth 1.4 billion yuan ($208.5 million) were snapped up by retail investors within a single day, after counter sales in banks we

re made available for the first time. The fundraising will help supplement a broader fiscal deficit this year, analysts said.

On Monday, individuals in China were able to purchase bonds issued by t

he Zhejiang provincial government (five-year term, 3.32 percent coupon rate) and the N

ingbo city government (three-year term, 3.04 percent coupon rate). Proceeds from the sales will be used for land purchases (300 million yuan) and shantytown renovations (1.1 billion yuan), acc

ording to a notice on the website of China Central Depository and Clearing, a clearinghouse under the central bank.

The minimum investment amount for retail investors is 100 yuan, lower than most wealth management products issu

ed by commercial banks. Previously, individual investors could only purchase bonds issued by the central government, kno

wn as treasury bonds. And before Monday, local government bonds were traded mainly in the interbank market.

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The government gave itself the option of bringing May’s dea

back to parliament on Friday, although speaker John Bercow repeated his warning that he

would not allow a third vote unless the motion had changed substantially since its last defeat.

May, who voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum, had already promised to step down before the next election, due in 2022.

Her deal, defeated in parliament by 149 votes on March 12 and by 230 votes on Jan 15, mea

ns Britain would leave the EU single market and customs union as well as EU political bodies.

But it requires some EU rules to apply unless ways can be found in the future to ensure no bor

der posts need to be rebuilt between British-ruled Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

Many Conservative rebels and the DUP object to this “Irish backstop”, saying it risks binding Britain to the EU for years.

To succeed, May needs at least 75 lawmakers to come over to her side.

After the ERG met, a spokesman said: “There is no way enough votes are

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This year marks the 55th anniversary of China-France

diplomatic ties. During their meetings, Xi agreed with French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to f

orge a more solid, stable and vibrant China-France comprehensive strategic partnership, and continue to explore the way for major countries to get al

ong with each other, which should feature independence, mutual understanding, foresight, mutual benefit and win-win outcomes, Wang said.

In the joint statement issued by China and France on jointly safeguarding multilateralism and improving global governa

nce, the two sides pledged to build international relations of mutual respect, equality, justice, and win-win coop

eration on the basis of respecting international laws and the basic principles of international norms, Wang said.

Speaking of Xi’s visit to Monaco, Wang said leaders of the two cou

ntries have agreed to firmly stick to the correct direction of bilateral relations, adhere to open

ness and cooperation, and pursue more win-win results so as to jointly elevate the China-Monaco relations into a new era.

During Xi’s talks with Prince Albert II, head of state of the Prin

cipality of Monaco, the Chinese president said both sides should adhere to openness and cooperation a

nd pursue more win-win results, adding that China welcomes Monaco to actively participate in the joint development of the Belt and Road.

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Wang hailed Italian government’s forethought and pragmatis

gmatism over its decision of endorsing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), saying Xi and Mattarella agreed

that China and Italy, which are at the two ends of the ancient Silk Road, are natural partners in constructing the Belt and Road.

Conte, according to Wang, said the BRI will bring great opportunities to Italy. He also agre

ed to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held in Beijing next month.

France is one of the earliest European countries that have expressed the willingness to take pa

rt in the BRI cooperation. During Xi’s visit to France, the two countries signed agreements on the third round of the BRI-related dem

onstration projects in third-party markets and kicked off a third-party market fund, Wang said.

At the closing session of a global governance forum co-hosted by China and France, Macron

said the BRI is significant and can play an important role in world peace, stability and development, adding that the EU could align

its development strategy with the BRI in an innovative way and jointly promote Eurasian connectivity.

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hina and France reaffirmed their commitment to jointly add

ddress climate change, the loss of biodiversity and environmental

protection in a joint statement issued on Tues

day, after visiting President Xi Jinping met with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

The two countries stressed that public and private funds should be directed to invest more to fight climate change and for biodiv

ersity protection, and there should be sustained financial support for the climate change actions of developing countries.

What is frustrating is the fact that solar and wind generation grew at double-digit pace in 2018, with solar alone increasing by 31 p

ercent, but that was still not fast enough to meet the higher electricity demand around the world that has driven up coal use.

China remains the leader in both solar- and wind-generated energy followed by Europe and the Uni

ted States. But despite being on course to meet its Paris climate pledge to peak its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, sourcing 20 percent of it

s energy needs from renewables and nuclear power by that date is a tougher challenge for China. However, the addit

ional benefits of energy security and reduced pollution provide extra incentives for resolute efforts to achieve this goal.

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