more C919 jets to make maiden test flights this yearakes its mai

Another three prototypes for China’s first homegrown large passenger jet, the C919, will conduct their maiden flights this year, follow

ing the success of a third one on Dec 28, 2018, according to the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd (COMAC), the maker of the jet.

The 104 prototype test aircraft of the China-made C919 has entered its final assembly stage, the 10

5 is undergoing the assembly of major components, and the main components of the 106 are in pro

duction. The maiden test flights for all three new prototype jets are expected to take place before the end of 2019.

The addition of these three would bring the total number of C919 prototype test aircraft to six.

To date, domestic and overseas buyers have placed orders for 815 of the China-m

ade C919 aircraft.Chinese communities around the world welcomed the Year of th

e Pig on Feb 5, ushering in Lunar New Year with prayers, family feasts and shopping sprees.

Celebrations took place across the globe, ranging from Southeast Asia’s centuries-old Chi

nese communities to the more recently established Chinatowns of Sydney, London, Vancouver, Los Angeles and beyond.

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Shanghai unveils measures to optimize business environment

Shanghai has announced a series of reform measures aimed at improving its business environment to maintain stable economic growth.

The measures cover 25 main areas such as business startups, applications for construction permits and electricity serv

ice, according to a working conference held by the municipal government on Feb 11.

Shanghai cannot simply rely on favorable policies to achieve development, let alone low-cost compe

tition, said Li Qiang, Party chief of Shanghai, adding that a better business environment is the strong impetus.

This year, Shanghai will promote collecting and sharing of public data as well as easy

access to governmental services for enterprises and citizens, according to local government authorities.

According to a World Bank report on the ease of doing business released in October last

year, China advanced to a global ranking of 46 among 190 economies in 2018, up from 78 in the previous year.

Shanghai recorded an overall economic growth of 6.6 percent last year, with its GDP per capit

a exceeding $20,000. The city expects to attain a growth rate of 6 percent to 6.5 percent this year.

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Yueyang Huagu Opera originated more than 200 years ago. It is

mainly popular in a dozen counties and cities in not just Hunan, but also in the adjacent Hubei province and the eastern Jiangxi province.

In its long development process, the opera has widely absorbed features of Yueyang folk tunes and artistic factors of other opera types t

o form its own style. Traditionally, Huagu Opera had no full-time performing troupes, and was only pe

rformed by amateur artists, most of whom were local farmers, during slack farming seasons on temporary stages.

In 2007, Yueyang Huagu Opera was recognized by the State Council, China’s Cabinet, as

a national intangible cultural heritage for its cultural, historical and artistic significance.

In recent years, measures have been taken by the local government to promote the art form.

The One Yuan Theater, which aims to cultivate more audience, has been a successfu

l attempt, says Yi Wen, an expert of Huagu Opera, who works at a local cultural center in Yueyang.

“Traditional culture still means a lot to the local people. Even some younger residents have shown their interest in the opera,” Yi says.

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Trump dislikes border security deal but Republicans urge support

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he was not happy with a deal struck

by congressional negotiators on border security that denied him funds for his promised US-M

exican border wall, but did not reject it outright as fellow Republicans urged his support.

Trump’s demand in December for $5.7 billion from Congress to help build a wall on the southern border triggered a 35-day

closure of about a quarter of the federal government. But he remains undecided about whether he will support the

agreement reached on Monday night that includes $1.37 billion for border fencing.

Nevertheless, Trump said he did not expect another shutdown, while con

tinuing to insist he could find a way to bypass Congress and build a wall without lawmakers.

Funding for the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and a host of other agencies is due to expire when the calendar turns to

Saturday after the expiration of a stopgap measure that ended the longest federal shutdown in US history. Mo

nday’s tentative funding agreement would keep the government open until Sept. 30, the end of the federal fiscal year.

“I have to study it. I’m not happy about it,” Trump told reporters at the White House about the deal, which would need to

be passed by the Democratic-led House of Representatives and Republican-controlled Senate and signed by him.

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Yauatcha will also launch a limited-edition 8 course Chines

 New Year menu for the festive season. The menu features a number of authentic Chinese celebratory dishes using auspicious ingredie

nts, highlight dishes including Crispy monkfish cheek with enoki mushroom and salsify, Homemade prawn tofu with seaweed and water c

estnut, Peking style pulled pork with golden mantou, and finishing off with a Mandarin matcha choux. The eight-c

ourse menu is £60 per person for a minimum of two people, and all dishes are available to order a la carte.

An exclusive Chinese New Year cocktail will be offered for the celebrations called Nagami Fortune featuri

ng Beefeater 24 gin, Kumquat marmalade, Raspberry cordinal and lime juice. In addition, Yauatcha’s pastry team have created a li

mited-edition macaron with a pig stenciled in gold and flavored with Mandarin.

During the talks, the French side reiterated its position in opposing unilat

eralism and upholding multilateral trading system. Wang Yi said China considers France’s position of great importance.

China is willing to strengthen communications and cooperation with France and the European Union to jointly pr

omote the multilateral trade system and push forward the WTO to play a bigger role in global governance.

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WTO should play bigger role in global governancetate Coun

reign Minister Wang Yi has called for the World Trade Organization to play bigger role in global governance.

Wang made the statement at the 18th session of the consultations of the coordinators for the China-France Stra

tegic Dialogue with Philippe Etienne, foreign policy advisor to the president of France, in Paris on Thursday.

Wang highlighted China’s position in upholding multilateralism and the rules-based multilateral trading system with the WTO at the core.

Noting China supports for the reform of the WTO to increase its authority and efficiency, Wang said the core value and b

asic principles of the WTO as well as the direction of trade liberalization should remain unchanged.

The WTO reform should follow the practice of decision-making by consensus, and c

annot be dictated by a few, nor decided by an exclusive small group of Members, he noted.

Wang called for safeguarding the special and differential treatment for developing members in the

WTO reform, saying France should objectively treat China as a developing country.

Priority should be given to the resolution of the issue of Appellate Body member appointment blockage, he said.

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esidents who had to move away to make space for the Foxcon

campus were offered assistance in relocation and compensation by market value or higher. Yet some were still unhappy as their lives had been disrupted.

Moreover, the public has become aware of the spiraling costs for the new job opportunities. It is estimated that each new job created could cost the gove

rnment as much as $1 million, eight times the average amount of subsidies local governments offer to similar projects.

Officials who had worked on the deal said the ince

ntive package should be viewed as an investment made by the state rather than free money for the company.

However, statistics showed that citizens might see a return on their Foxconn investment in 2042 at the earliest, accor

ding to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, a nonpartisan agency that provides economic analysis to the Wisconsin state legislature.

Many local residents felt it was a waste of money and called on governments to reth

ink their package and put the money into other social benefit projects such as education.

“It’s a lousy deal, and we’re going to have to hold Foxconn’s feet to the fire going forward,” Wisconsin’s Governor-elect Tony Evers said.

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hile Beijing promises to buy more American goods and to ex

pand market access to US firms, Washington should move forward on some issues, such as tightened export controls to China,” Mei added.

Besides the purchase of more US soybeans, there is more room to buy additional ‘

’US goods such as energy products, aircraft and automobiles as part of efforts to reduce the US trade deficit with China.

More containment

Notwithstanding the good momentum of trade talks, the US seems to be hastening its offensive against China in various sectors.

In a Saturday article, CNN said US intelligence warned that China was using “student spies” to steal secrets from the US.

Unnamed lawmakers and intelligence officials were quoted as saying that the Chinese are

“notorious” for their patriotism and nationalism that could allegedly “coerce them into carrying out acts of espionage.”

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US Energy Department said it woul

d ban its scientists and employees from participating in talent-recruitment programs sponsored by China and other countries.

The department oversees 17 national laboratories conducting advanced resear

ch in such areas as nuclear physics and supercomputing.

This is not the first time US officials have accused Chinese students of espionage, while Chine

se students, based on official US data, accounted for over 30 percent of the country’s international students in 2018.

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While China and the US saw escalated trade frictions in 2018, Br

 record high in its soybeans exports to China. As of the end of 2018, the local industry association estimated that the country’s total soybeans output will reach 120 million to 125 million tons – a new high – in 2019.

Brazil will enter the harvest season for soybeans in coming months. As China restarts to im

port more from the US, companies in Brazil have also lowered their expectations for soy oil exports.

Brazil’s exports are expected to fall to 400,000 tons this year versus 1.43 million tons last year in terms of soy oil exports, according to Amaral.

Still, the Brazilian industry representative remained optimistic about the future of soybeans trade with China.

“Even with the more intense participation of US products in the Chinese

market, we believe China will continue to need Brazilian soy to fulfill its domes

tic market,” he said, noting that neither US or Brazil can adequately supply Chinese demand.

“Brazil will keep an important presence in the Chinese market,” Amaral added.

Soybeans have been a crucial element in simmering trade tensions between the two count

ries, CNBC said on Saturday. China, the world’s largest soybeans importer, cut off purchases from the US in 201

8, sending prices tumbling and leaving US farmers struggling to sell off their record harvest, the media report noted.

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Iran unveils indigenous long-range cruise missile

Iran unveiled an indigenous long-range cruise missile on Saturday, Tasnim news agency reported.

The missile, Hoveizeh, was displayed at a ceremo

ny in the capital Tehran, which was attended by Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami.

Manufactured by Iranian Defense Ministry’s Aerospace Industries Organization

, the missile is ready to be delivered to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force.

With a range of 1,350 km, Hoveizeh cruises at low altitudes and is used for ground targets.

It has high precision and accuracy and is capable of inflicting heavy destruction on the targets, Hatami said.

The Iranian minister also described the Hoveizeh missile as “a symbol of self-confide

nce,” saying it is a major defense achievement in world’s military technologies.

Despite western calls to curb its missile program, Iran has vowed to continue to develop and test missiles in line with its deterrence policy.

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