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Conflict also disrupts growth. Although many conflic

icts appear to have a religious or ethnic basis, some scholars believe their root cause may be economic, with ethnic divisio

s serving as a way to exclude other groups from access to scarce resources and opportunities. Whatever its so

urce, inequality of opportunity has a highly disruptive effect on governance and hence growth.

But these obstacles are not insurmountable. For one th

ing, developing countries now have huge potential export markets in middle-inc

ome countries, and no longer depend entirely on advanced economies for access to global markets.

Belt and Road can play vital development role

There is also a renewed awareness of the importance of infrastructure in e

nabling growth. In addition to roads, railways and ports, electricity and digital conn

ectivity are crucial. In this regard, the rapid expansion of cellular wireless technology, combined with the install

ation of high-capacity undersea broadband pipes around Africa, represents major prog

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Nevertheless, it is difficult to separate cyclical elements

and external shocks from the long-term trend and to conclude that China’s potential growth rate really is 6-6.5 percent.

Many Chinese economists cite long-term supply-side structural factors-such as demographic agi

ng, environmental degradation, and a lack of progress on reform-to argue that China has simply en

tered a new stage of development, characterized by significantly lower potential growth rates.

Structural factors don’t explain falling growth rate

While this may be true-everyone in China agrees that 9-10 perce

nt annual growth rates are a thing of the past-there is no clear indication of how much Chin

a’s growth potential has actually declined. Long-term supply-side structural factors do not explain, for exam

ple, why the growth rate fell from 12.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010 to 7.4 percent in the third quarter of 2013.

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This issue is similar to the environment. External critics

ent. External critics of China don’t appreciate that Chinese themselves realize there

are issues to be addressed. They are doing so. These developments should be encouraged.”

President Xi Jinping, who spoke at the Second Belt and Road Foru

m for International Cooperation in Beijing recen

tly, listed areas in which China will improve the environment for foreign investment.

The president said the nation will work hard to create a business environ

ment that respects the value of intellectual prop

erty, will improve the legal system for IPR protection at all levels, will strengthen law enforcement and pr

otection for the legitimate rights and interests of foreign IP owners and will bar the

forced transfer of technology, improve protection of trade secrets and crack down on infringement.

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The Belt and Road Initiative, which originated in C

 China but belongs to the world, has become an open and inclusive platform for international cooperation and a well-recog

nized global public good thanks to the concerted efforts of the parties involved, Xi said.

Calling think tanks significant forces for Belt and Road constructi

on, the president said developing think tank exchanges and cooperation helps deepen mu

tual trust, unite consensus and promote the BRI to achieve high-level development.

He expressed the hope that the think tank network would develop in-depth academic exchanges to promote solid coope

ration under the BRI and contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Also on Wednesday, a ceremony to mark the release of the English and French editions

of a compilation of remarks by Xi on the Belt and Road was held in Beijing by the State Council Information Office.

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Military drill near Taiwan ‘necessary’sman for the State Coun

Mainland slams response by island’s leader, who called exercise ‘a threat’

A spokesman for the Chinese mainland said a military drill by Chinese bombers and warships around Taiwan on Monday was routin

e and slammed the island’s administration for misleading the Taiwan people and hyping tensions.

On Monday, various warships, bombers and reconnaissance aircr

aft of the People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command conducted “necessary train

ing” around Taiwan as a means to test the joint assault capability between different branches of the military, Senior Colone

l Zhang Chunhui, the theater command’s spokesman, said in a statement on Monday.

The exercise took place in waters east of Taiwan and was part of a scheduled PLA exercise, he said.

“It is completely within the normal legal rights of a sovereign cou

ntry, and it’s beneficial for maintaining peace and security in the Taiwan Straits,” Zhang said.

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Vehicle sales in China continue to drop, NEV sales rise

hinese sales of passenger vehicles, MPVs, SUVs and minivans in March dropped 12 percent on a yearly basis to 1.78 million units.

This is the 10th consecutive monthly decrease, according to the C

hina Passenger Car Association (CPCA), Changjiang Times reported.

The MPV sector saw the largest sales decline, 20.2 percent to 130,000 units in the pas

t month, while SUVs and sedans dropped 10.7 and 12 percent, respectively.

The decreases in 2019’s first quarter are mild compared with those at the end of the last year, CPCA said.

As the State-VI emission standards will be implemented from July 1 this

year, some Japanese brands have launched corresponding products ahead of their co

unterparts, and performed well in sales and consumer confidence, CPCA said.

“Automobile sales in North China, and those in the county and township level, are still weak,” the association added.

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If the nose of the Boeing Max 8 model rises, threaten

ning a midair stall, the MCAS system automatically points the plane’s nose down

to gain speed needed to stay aloft. Boeing added larger, more fuel-efficient engines to upgr

ade the existing 737 airframe to compete with European rival Airbus. The new engines are positioned close

r to the fuselage, changing the aircraft’s aerodynamics and pushing the nose up in certain conditions.

Boeing created MCAS to make the new Max planes handle more like previ

ous versions of the 737, a popular model used by airlines around the world. Some in the aircra

ft industry, including pilots, have said Boeing did not provide adequate notice of the new plane’s flight ch

aracteristics or how to shut off the new anti-stall device if necessary. A group of pilots in

dependently compiled and circulated a 13-page manual about the new system. Oth

ers have said Boeing provided adequate notice of the changes and how to disable MCAS.

The version of MCAS installed on the Ethiopian Airlines pl

ane had relied on information from one sensor that sent back bad information.

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Fourth, the daunting challenges that China faces at this po

point in its economic development are far more important than whether its slowdown is

a gap or a trap. What comes after the catch-up to advanced economies operating on the technological frontier? This

is where China’s stated goal of shifting from imported to indigenous innovation comes in. Middle-versus high-inco

me status is a relative comparison for developing economies seeking to operate on that frontier. Notwithstanding the

temporary effects of periodic exogenous disturbances-such as deleveraging, global slowdowns, or even trad

e wars-catching up to the frontier and joining others pushing to move beyond it is the ultimate reward of economic development. That goal is ensh

rined in President Xi Jinping’s aspiration for China to achieve high-income status by 2050.

And fifth, productivity growth is far more important than GDP gro

wth in determining a country’s development prospects. As such, I would be far more wor

ried about China falling into a productivity trap than a GDP growth trap. A new study on total factor prod

uctivity (TFP) by a team of Chinese researchers offers some comfort here. Like the work of Pritchett and Summers, thi

s latest assessment of Chinese TFP growth reveals several discontinuities over the past 40 years.

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photo shared by MP John Lamont showed a smiling Berger

  snapping a selfie of the group as they took their seats in the House of

Commons. But non

e of the group asked a question of the Prime Minister, as she appeared before MPs for her weekly grill

ing, and the defections were barely addressed. The mood in the House of

Commons seemed more subdued than usual.

  The closest May came to acknowledging the issue was when she attacked Corbyn over anti-Semitism in

his party, cited as a reason for some of the defectors leaving his party.

  May said she never thought she would see the day when “a once proud

Labour party was accused of institutional Semiti

sm by a member of that party,” or,

equally, when Jewish people in the UK “were concerned about their future.”

  Responding to those accusations, Corbyn said that “anti-Semitism ha

s no place whatsoever in any of our political parties, in our lives, in our society,” be

fore laying into the Prime Minister for “pretending to negotiate” a Brexit deal with just 37 days to go.

  May, who will travel to Brussels later in the day, maintained that she was still working on alternative arrangements on the

Irish backstop — an insurance policy designed to avoid a hard border between

Northern Ireland and the Republic of Irel

and. She also reiterated her position that a no-deal exit from the EU could only be taken off the table by agreeing a deal.

  Speaking at a press conference later, Allen, Wollaston and Soubry said the Prim

e Minister had been bullied by hard-line Brexiteers onto the brink of a no-deal Brexit.

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ercent from 8.1 percent at the end of December, the central

It’s hard to say that China entered a new cycle of credit expansion,” said Zhang Ming, chief eco

nomist at Ping An Securities. “For the whole year, the overall financing growth and money supply is expected to stabilize.”

Fast credit expansion means higher pressure on companies to repay debt and interest, and the space for sustainable credit growth i

s limited, given the current leverage level. Total outstanding debt has exceeded 250 percent of GDP, Zhang said.

The good news is that credit has been channeled effectively into the production sector, such as manuf

acturing and high-tech, and the healthier credit structure can support the overall economic r

estructuring reform, said Ruan Jianhong, head of the central bank’s statistics and analysis department.

hina and the United States will continue economic and trade consultations in Washington ne

xt week, after reaching consensus in principle on major issues during their high-level Beijing talks, State media reported.

According to Xinhua News Agency, the two sides had in-depth communication on topics of mutual concern including tec

hnological transfers, intellectual property rights protection, nontariff barriers, the service industry, agr

iculture, the trade balance and an implementation mechanism, as well as on particular issues of concern to China.

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