But China should realize that some EU countries have

 become increasingly cautious about deepening cooperation with China because of its rapid developm

ent; in fact, a few EU countries have decided to implement tougher measures for foreign trade. The European Commission even put

forward a 10-point policy package on China on March 11, which the European Council discussed on March 21.

But the fact that the Commission sees China as a “cooperation partner”, “negotiating partner”, “eco

nomic competitor” as well as a “systemic rival” means it wants to build on the partnership of strategic cooperation with China.

The EU’s attempt to coordinate the concerns of its different members and its efforts to continue dialogue with China reflect coope

ration are not a subjective choice of one single EU country but an objective choice for the mutual interest of all the parties involved.

China has addressed many of the EU’s concerns to strengthen coop

eration, including further opening-up. And it should keep taking measures to strengt

hen cooperation and communication to settle the disputes with EU countries and meet the emerging challenges.

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Since 2015, more than 100 foreign experts and students

 from countries involved in the BRI have visited Hainan annually to study agricultural technology, including Nanf

an’s breeding program, which is “playing the role of Silicon Valley for the country’s seed industry”, Wang said.

Hainan’s climate and biological resources have made Nanfan an important nation

al center of seed propagation. Every winter, more than 7,000 domestic agricultural scientists and

workers are busy at the Nanfan centers. More than 70 percent of the country’s 7,000 crop varieties have been culti

vated in the tropical island province, which is building a global resources center, National Business Daily reported.

“With good stress resistance and higher yields, hybrid rice seeds developed by Nanfan’s ce

nters are being welcomed in Southeast Asian countries,” said Xie Zhenyu, an assistant research fellow at th

e Research Institute of Tropical Crop Germ Plasm under the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences.

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hina urges UK to stop interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs

China on Thursday urged the United Kingdom to respect China’s sovereignty and stop interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang made the remarks after the UK government released its latest six-monthly report on Hong Kong.

“We urge the UK to face the reality that Hong Kong has returned to China for 22 years, respect China’s s

overeignty, stop releasing relevant reports, and stop interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs,” Geng said at a press briefing.

It is undeniable that the “one country, two systems” practice has achieved widely-acknowledged success, he said.

“Hong Kong’s affairs have been entirely China’s internal affairs since

July 1, 1997. The British side has no right to make irresponsible remarks or interfere with any excuses,” Geng said.

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Harmful gas found near Xiangshui blast siteing after the massiv

Environmental monitoring has detected an excessive amount of the harmful gas benzene ne

ar the site of a deadly explosion in Xiangshui county of Jiangsu province, authorities said on Thursday.

At 10 am on Wednesday, the benzene density stood at 2.04 milligrams per cubic meter at a monitoring point that is 1 kilometer away in the downwind direc

tion from the site, about 17.5 times more than the national standard. The concentration was below the standard, how

ever, 2 and 3.5 kilometers away, according to a media release from the Jiangsu environmental watchdog.

“Analysis done by environmental experts working on the site shows that the excessive den

sity of benzene occurred because buried pollutants were gradually exposed to the air as cleaning work cont

inues on the site,” Liu Youbin, spokesman of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, told a news conference on Thursday.

The explosion occurred at about 2:48 pm on March 21 after a fire broke out in a plant owned by Jiang

su Tianjiayi Chemical Co. So far, the blast has claimed the lives of 78 people and injured more than 600 people.

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Ground Force tests proficiency of top officersts exam will imp

More than 200 major generals of the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force simultaneously took part in a recent examin

ation held across the nation, marking the Ground Force’s first large-scale test of its high-ranking commanders.

The examination was arranged by the Ground Force headquarters and was held earlier this month in seven loca

tions – Beijing, Fuzhou, Nanning, Lanzhou, Jinan, Urumqi and Lhasa. The largest test site was at the Ground Force Acade

my of Armored Forces in Beijing with 52 examinees, according to a statement from the Ground Force.

Experts from PLA National Defense University and inspecto

rs from the Ground Force’s disciplinary committee supervised the examination.

Participants were mostly made up of major generals and some senior colonels – commanding officers from

departments under the Ground Force headquarters, academies, schools, regional branches and training and test bases.

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More appetite among Chinese, Asian collectors for Western art

hinese and Asian art collectors have become more knowledgeable, sophisticated and are branching out for m

ore Western works, said Francis Belin, president of Christie’s Asia, who is excited about the trend.

“Chinese clients have evolved from being very dedicated to Chinese arts to gaining increasing interest

in other categories and expanding the spectrum of the type of objects that they wish to collect,” Belin told

Xinhua in an interview in New York City during Christie’s Asian Art Week held on March 19-26.

Diversity of collecting is one of three “fundamental trends” the auction house has obse

rved among the Chinese and Asian buyers, Belin said, noting the increased appetite to collect across categories.

About 10 or 20 years ago, Asian collectors focused primarily on the art that relates to their own c

ulture, he said, “we’ve seen this evolved in the past years to be much more holistic in the collecting of our Asian buyers.”

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Cities emerging into new post-Brexit financial centers

The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union has led major

financial companies in London to move assets and staff to continental Europe, mea

ning the post-Brexit landscape is likely to be far more “polycentric” than it is today

and far less centered on one location.

According to a recent report by think tank The New Financial, more than 40 companies have shifted staff or oper

ations to more than one financial center within the EU, with 100 choosing the

Irish capital as a post-Brexit location, whi

ch was the most popular choice ahead of Luxembourg, with 60, Paris with 41, Frankfurt with 40, and Amsterdam with 32.

William Wright, principal author of the

New Financial Brexitometer report, said: “One of the most strikin

g findings of our analysis is the extent to which Europe will become a much more

‘multipolar’ world as a result of Brexit.”

Companies are migrating to, or expanding in, multiple financial centers, with man

y either establishing a dedicated division for EU business or spreading their staff

more evenly throughout the EU.

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For example, banks tend to gravitate to Frankfurt beca

 it is already a banking center in the European context, plus a clearinghouse. Also, Frankfurt has the Euro

pean central bank, which is now the regulator for all banks in Europe. So, the banks want to be closer to the major regulator,” Donoghue said.

As for asset management, insurance, and funds companies, Donoghue said, they are relocat

ing to Dublin because the city has a very broad and diversified set of capabilities in running funds and managing assets.

Andrew Pilgrim, associate partner at consultancy Ernst & Young, which is known as EY, sai

d it is probably not in the EU’s best interests to have financial services concentrated in one location.

“From policy and political perspectives, there is an argument to say that actually having a balanced financial sector across many EU jurisdi

ctions means that you have less risk concentrated in one jurisdiction,” Pilgrim said. “And it also means that you get a more balanced regu

latory and supervisory environment across all the EU member states, as opposed to all of that being focused on one.”

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Former vice-minister of public security expelled from Party

Taking a step requires just one second for a typical person. But not for Gao Ziren, whose paral

yzed left leg requires him to first move a crutch forward before his leg, and then balance himself.

For 42 years, Gao, a teacher at Lixin village primary school in a mountainous area of East China’s Jiangxi province, has walked th

is way between his home, the school and his students’ homes. Over the course of his career, he has worn out more than 60 crutches.

Gao, 60, was born in a mountainous area of Meiling township, Wanli district of Nancha

ng. After coming down with polio at the age of 1, his left leg suffered muscular atrophy, which left him unable to walk normally.

He did not give up, relying instead on his mental strength to finish his studies from primary school through high school.

He started his career in 1977 when a village official visited him about being a teacher in the village, as one of the two teachers the

re had left. Gao agreed to take the position, as he knew the importance of a teacher to students, especially those like him.

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China and Italy complement each other in terms of resou

 resource endowment, with trade cooperation being the cornerstone of their relationship. Belt and Road projects have already helped expand the shipping trade

in the Mediterranean region, creating unprecedented development opportunities for Italy’s major ports.

And now that Beijing and Rome have signed a MoU on the Belt and Road Initiative, the two sides can establish better con

nectivity in order to promote globalization and free trade. The MoU also suggests that even developed coun

tries have started to accept the BRI as a connectivity and economic development initiative.

The MoU could also be an antidote to the rising wave of unilateralism

and trade protectionism in some regions, as more developed economies could now join the BRI.

China is now one of the largest cooperative partners of Italy i

n terms of imports and exports. As of November 2018, the bilateral trade volume had reac

hed $48.25 billion, more than the total for the whole of 2017, making Italy China’s ninth-largest export des

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