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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The meeting called for expanded investment in comp

ulsory education, basic medical care, housing, drinking water, eldercare and ch

ild care, in addition to addressing other pressing issues for some groups in society.

Social security mechanisms to help those most in need will be furthe

r refined, with subsistence allowance systems set to be optimized, the statement said.

The meeting also called for full implementation of requirements set in the Ce

ntral Economic Work Conference, the annual policymaking meeting held in December.

The meeting urged an even more proactive fiscal policy and full implementation of tax and fee cuts.

Monetary policy will be eased or tightened to the right degree, and

it will be adjusted in accordance with economic growth and real-time inflationary and pricing

scenarios, the statement said, adding that financial support for the real economy will be bolstered.

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Ruwan Wijewardene, Sri Lankan state defense min

nister, said on Tuesday that Islamic extremists staged the attacks in

Sri Lanka in retaliation to the shootings in two New Zealand mosques in March that claimed 50 lives.

And the blasts lay bare several threats confronting the whole world. First

of all, the reflux of IS terrorists formerly active in Iraq and Syria to countries that have not su

ffered large-scale serial terrorist strikes in a while poses a serious threat to their people’s safety.

Sri Lanka had enjoyed relative peace after the Liberation Tige

rs of Tamil Eelam, a militant organization demandin

g a separate homeland for Tamils in northeastern Sri Lanka, was defeated in 2009.

Governments have been keeping a close watch on the small nu

mber of people that have returned to their countries after atten

ding IS training camps. Yet the lack of coordination mechanisms among countries seemin

gly helps the terrorists evade surveillance and collude with extremist forces outside their countries.

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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 shared some of his personal life. He said he has a dee

 interest in philosophy, history, literature, culture, music and sports, and that he first cul

tivated many of these interests back in middle school and they have stayed with him ever since.

His job is serving the people, and he works hard with a busy schedule, but takes great pleasure in his work, Xi wrote.

The Niles North students also inquired whether Xi likes the US.

Xi answered in the letter that he has visited their country many times and is impressed with the “beautiful landscape, hos

pitable people and diverse culture”, and he made a lot of friends, including some young people.

He said the students are “wonderful” and expressed hope that they will make greater progress in studying Chinese.

Learning Chinese will help them better understand China, a

d get acquainted with more Chinese friends and Chinese-speaking friends across the world, Xi said.

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He said seeing is believing and he welcomes the stude

nts to visit China in the future.Kendra Le, a Niles North freshman, was thrilled about Xi’s response letter, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“I was surprised, very surprised,” Le was quoted in the report as say

ing. “It was an honor to receive a letter from him. It was really nice getting a letter from him.”

The report also said that Zhao Jian, the Chinese consul general in Chicago, personally

delivered the letter to a gathering of students enrolled in Chinese classes at Niles North on April 3.

Serena Meyers, a Niles North senior taking her first year of Chinese after thr

ee terms of Spanish, was not only happy to receive the response, but also ple

ased at how the Chinese leader made an effort to answer the questions her classmates posed.

“I was absolutely surprised,” she told the Chicago Tribune. “He has a lot to do and it was a

n honor he wrote back to us.”The Niles North High School began offering Mandarin courses in 2008.

daochuwan.cn

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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China releases report on progress, contributions and pro

China on Monday published a report elaborating on the progress, contributions and prospects of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The document, prepared by the office of the leading group for promoting the BRI, was released ahead

of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held from April 25 to 27 in Beijing.

The Belt and Road Initiative is an initiative for peaceful

development and economic cooperation, rather than a geopolitical or military alliance, said the rep

ort. “It is a process of open, inclusive and common development, not an exclusionary bloc or a ‘China club’.”

“It neither differentiates between countries by ideology nor plays the zero-sum

game. Countries are welcome to join the initiative if they so will,” according to the report.

The BRI has turned ideas into actions and vision into reality, and i

tself into a public product widely welcomed by the international community, the report said.

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The drafts were presented by the NPC’s law committ

tee to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee during a bimonthly session that began on

Saturday. In August, the Standing Committee began a preliminary review of all six parts and 1,034 items of the civil code.

Another health related item added to the code addressed human testing for new drug

s or treatments. It provides that all activities involving human testing must protect the subject’s health.

These activities include developing new drugs, medical equipment and prevention and treatment methods. They now

require approval from an ethics committee, as well as by competent authorities.

The draft amendment to the Drug Administration Law said the nation should encourage the development of new

drugs, according to Cong Bin, a forensic expert and a senior legislator on the law committee.

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