Wang stressed if one side is trying to place extreme press

extreme pressure on the other, it will cause a legitimate counterattack.

“The measures from us are not only to safeguard China’s own rights, b

ut to protect the basic rules of the current multilateral trading mechanism,” Wang said.

Wang made the remark in a joint news conference with his Russian

counterpart Sergei Lavrov during his visit to the Black Sea coastal city of Sochi.

Experts warned that the rising US tariffs on Chinese imports risks a full-blown trade war, which will bring harm to both sides.

Major Wall Street stock indexes declined more than 2 percent on Monday, followi

ng China’s announcement of countermeasures in response to Washington’s latest tariff move.

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The integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta re

gion must focus on the key elements of greater integration and high-quality developmen

t to lead the growth of the whole Yangtze River Economic Belt and East China, the statement said.

The meeting called for better awareness of integrated development and putting the region’s growt

h into the perspective of a unified strategy, as well as the development of a modern economic system.

It also required adequate coordination and implementation to ensure the effective implementation of various tasks in the plan.

The delta region, including Shanghai and Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces, is among the areas with the most robust econ

omic growth, the highest level of opening-up and the strongest capacities in innovation in China.

The total GDP of the delta region reached 21 trillion yuan ($3.06 trillion) in 2018, which

accounted for around one-fourth of the national total, according to Economic Daily.

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The conference also saw the launch of a scientific alli

lliance on international disaster risk reduction, which included around 30 institution

s and universities from countries including Italy, Belgium, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The alliance will serve as a new platform for international coordinati

on and provide scientific support for disaster relief and sustainable development.

The conference was co-hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the China Association for Science and Technology, the U

nited Nations Environment Program, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Alliance of Int

ernational Science Organizations, a group created to connect the scientific communities of BRI participants.

Bai Chunli, president of the academy, said in the conference’s opening ceremony on Saturday that areas along the Si

lk Road are prone to various natural disasters that have resulted in massive loss of life and economic damage.

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anqing and Zhangjiakou are preparing another venues, in

including existing ski resorts and some newly built projects, to host all eight Olympic snow sports

in 2022. The three clusters will be connected by a new high-speed railway, which will be completed by t

he end of this year. It looks beyond the Games to boost future winter sports tourism.

According to the organizing committee, all 26 venues for 2022 will be ready by June next year with the f

irst test event, a World Cup skiing series, scheduled to be held in Yanqing’s National Alpine Skiing Center in February.

About 90 percent of the earth moving work for the mountain center is now complete, and a 53-hecta

re forest reserve has been built nearby for transplantation of all the trees affected by the construction.

“The preparations are ready to step up to the next stage, from planning to

the readiness phase. Beijing is ahead in the race against time,” said Liu Yumin, dire

ctor of the planning, construction and sustainable development department of the 2022 Olympic Organizing Committee.

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At least 41 dead in Russian passenger plane fire

Russia’s Investigative Committee says 41 people died in fiery airliner accident at Moscow airport.

The Russian Superjet 100 was flying from Moscow to Murmansk when a fire broke out on board. Aeroflot Flight SU1492 ret

urned to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, making a hard landing, news agency Interfax reported.

“According to our data, more than 10 victims needed medical

care,” Tass news agency quoted a source in the medical services as saying.

Earlier, the regional emergency services reported six victims.

The plane reportedly took off from the Sheremetyevo airport at 18:00 local time (1500 GMT) and

made an emergency landing after circling over the Moscow region for about 40 minutes.

It was “engulfed in flames” before the emergency landing, Tass quoted a source as saying.

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Xi also called for the two countries to further enhan

ce exchanges between their legislatures, political parties, youth, think tanks, media

and local authorities to cement their people’s support for friendly bilateral ties.

Bhandari said the joint building of the Belt and Road is a historic initiative and has an important global influence.

The initiative has served as a good platform for Nepal-China cooperation, she said.

The Nepali president expressed her congratulations on the 7

0th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and s

aid it is admirable what the Chinese people have achieved under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.

China is a true friend of Nepal, and Nepal sees opportunities in China’s prosperity and stability, Bhandari said.

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rime scene officials inspect the explosion area at Shangri-La

Of the dead in the blasts, there are 35 foreigners, the police confirmed. Hospital sources

had earlier said nine foreigners were among those killed while 13 others have been injured.

Airline says flights continue despite curfew

SriLankan Airlines is telling passengers boo

ked on flights out of the country that they will be able to fly despite the curfew imposed.

The carrier says in a statement that travelers on all airlines operating out of Bandaranai

ke International Airport can access the airport by showing their tickets and passports at checkpoints.

The airline says security has been tightened at the airp

ort, and it advises passengers to arrive four hours before their scheduled flights.

Both Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Mi

nister Ranil Wickremesinghe have condemned the attacks and appealed for calm.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said t

he tri-forces and the police are conducting a thorough probe into the explosions.

In a special statement, the police urged the publi

c to stay indoors and not gather at the explosion sites which had been sealed off.

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Abe to send envoy to Belt and Road ForumAbe will

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will send his special envoy Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the rulin

g Liberal Democratic Party, to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.

In a news conference held by the Japanese embassy in China on Monday, Takeshi Osuga, J

apanese Foreign Ministry spokesman, said Nikai will visit China from April 24 to 29 to attend the forum and give a speech.

In a previous conference at LDP’s headquarters in Tokyo, N

ikai said his party called for increased exchange between Japan and China.

As the Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono just ended a three-day visit to China, Osuga

said the visit was “very positive” and further strengthened bilateral ties between Beijing and Tokyo.

“In the fifth China-Japan High-level Economic Dialogue, China and J

apan achieved agreement to cooperate in such areas as energy conservation and environ

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Digital trade enabled up to 3.2 trillion yuan of econo

omic value in the domestic economy in 2017, equivalent to nearly 4 percent of China’s 82.08 trillio

n yuan GDP that year.This is significant, considering the economic value estimated for other Asia-Pacific economi

es ranges between 1 and 3 percent, said the Hinrich Foundation’s Director of Public Affairs and Strategy Berenice Voets.

The potential economic value of digital trade is expected to be the equivalent of 22 percent of China’s projected GDP in 2030, accor

ding to the report, outlining an optimistic outlook for digital trade development in China in the following years.

Li is scheduled to have talks with EU leaders, attend high-level meetings

Premier Li Keqiang touched down at Brussels Airport on Monday, beginning a five-day trip aimed at sending a clear signal to t

he world of the growing mutual trust and deepening strategic cooperation between China and European nations.

Li is in Belgium for the 21st China-EU Leaders’ Meeting. He will also make an official visit to Croatia and at

tend the eighth Leaders’ Meeting of China and Central and Eastern European Countries in the coastal city of Dubrovnik.

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The 142-km Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, connec

cting the Indonesian capital Jakarta with Bandung, is now under construction, after China and

Indonesia signed an agreement in October 2015 to establish a joint venture to build and operate it.

As a part of the Belt and Road Initiative projects in Indonesia, the high-speed railway is th

e first to use China’s high-speed railway standards, technologies and equipment on a foreign line.

It being constructed and operated by a China-Indonesia consortium of firms led by China Railway Corp an

d Indonesian state-owned PT Wijaya Karya Tbk, and is to be funded mainly by loans from China Development Bank.

The high-speed rail, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, will have a maximum design speed

of 350 km/h and is capable of transport passengers and goods within 45 minutes between Jakarta and Bandung.

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