The two sides agreed to work with each other on coopera

ation in fields such as environment and sustainable energy, agriculture, sustainable urbani

zation, health, aviation, space technology, infrastructure and transportation, according to the communique.

The two sides also expres

Visiting President Xi Jinping met with Italian Senate Speaker Maria Elisabetta Alberti

Casellati here Friday on expanding exchanges and cooperation between the two countries’ legislative institutions.

China and Italy have enjoyed a traditional friendship, with the ancient Silk Road closely linking the two peoples, Xi said.

Since they established diplomatic relations nearly 50 years ago, the China-Italy ties have seen heal

thy and stable development, and the two countries have become important partners who trust each other and work together, Xi said.

sed willingness to strengthen cultural cooperation that includes heritage protection and figh

t against relic trafficking, education cooperation that highlights language studies, judicial coope

ration that involves extradition and anti-graft experience sharing, and law enforcement cooperation.

During Xi’s visit, the two sides signed 19 intergovernmental bilateral cooperation documents, the communique said.

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High-tech manufacturing, the service industry and the digi

ital economy will be the new engines for the economy, while some traditional driv

ing forces, such as injecting funds into the market, are losing momentum, Zhu said.

China’s total GDP exceeded 90 trillion yuan ($13.4 trillion) in 2018, and the per capita GDP was

about $9,700. Economists predict that if the country maintains growth of at least 6 percent this

year, which is likely given the current momentum, its per capita GDP this year would surpass $10,000.

That means China would move closer to the standards for a “high-inco

me country” — above $12,736 in per capital GDP — set by the World Bank in 2015.

However, a productivity slowdown, aging population and unbalanced regional development could be among the “bot

tlenecks” that constrain China in becoming a high-income country, economists said.

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The United States principals will be accompanied by Dep

eputy USTR Jeffrey Gerrish and other senior officials from the USTR Office and the Department of the Treasury.

“The United States looks forward to welcoming a delegation from China led by Vic-P

remier Liu He for meetings in Washington starting on April 3,” the statement said.

The message echoed an announcement by China’s Ministry of Commerce on Thursday that the two sides will start the eigh

th round of trade talks in Beijing, followed by the ninth round in Washington early next month.

The two sides have recently had several phone conversations on eco

nomic and trade issues and agreed on the schedule, according to ministry spokesman Gao Feng.

Negotiations led by Vice-Premier Liu and USTR Lighthizer from Feb 21 to 24 in Washington yielded “substantial prog

ress” on specific issues such as technology transfer, protection of intellectual property rights, non-tariff barri

ers, services industry, agriculture and exchange rates, according to a statement from the Chinese delegation.

www.shlfccc.com

The vote will be held from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm local tim

 on Sunday. More than 51 million people are registered as eligible voters.

There are more than 90,000 polling stations across the country. The E

lection Commission expected that at least 80 percent of voters will cast their ballots.

Unofficial results will be unveiled about three hours after the polling stations close. Official results will be announced before May 9.

Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn made a call for unity and happiness just 12 hours before the vote.

In the election, voters will choose 350 senators in the lower house. The new constitution all

ows parliament’s upper house, the 250-seat Senate, to vote with the 500-seat lower house to choose the prime minister.

Pro-military parties would probably need 126 seats in the lower House of Representa

tives to win a majority in a combined vote. Opposition parties would need 376 seats.

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Volunteers inundate blood donation center near explosion site

After an explosion at a chemical plant killed 47, residents of Xiangshui county in Jiangs

u province have flooded centers to donate blood for the severely injured survivors.

There were so many people coming in to donate blood

that the organizers at one center ran out of application forms, China Daily discovered Friday afternoon.

“On average,People wait in line to donate blood at a donation point after

a deadly chemical factory blast killed dozens in Xiangshui county in Jiangsu province on Frid

ay people have to wait for at least five hours for their turn,” said Meng Xianghua, a me

mber of the local labor union that has been assisting in the drive to build up blood supplies following the blast.

He said one of his neighbors came in at 8 am Friday and had to wait until 1:30 pm to d

onate. “There are so many people coming that we failed to count how many people have donated so far,” he added.

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“If Thailand had not missed several good opportunities, the

Chinese squad would be in an even more embarrassing position.

“Chinese soccer is no longer among the best in Asia … for a long time now, we have been in th

e second tier. Although we call our league the Chinese Super League, the word ‘super’ only exists in the name.”

Retired Chinese international Li Yi, who helped Shenzhen win the 2004 CSL title, also expressed his concern online.

“The current Thailand national team players are all in their prim

e, and they will be strong opponents for Team China for the next few years,” said Li.

“Now the old generation of Chinese players is retiring, but the young guns still cannot sho

ulder the responsibility. The qualifying games for the next World Cup are coming. We must try harder!”

www.qianpbd.com

Most Chinese and Myanmar students are Dai people and som

 of them are relatives, so the close ties between them are not broken by national borders. W

hat the school has been doing is to further strengthen the special bond between the two peoples,” he said.

The school has preschool classes and first through third grades and all classes are taught in Chinese, Dai dialect and Bu

rmese, Sun said, adding that students can take advantage of free tuition and nutritious breakfasts.

Jie En, 11, a Myanmar student at the school, said, “The teache

rs do not treat us differently because we come from a different country, and people cannot tell wh

ether we are from China or Myanmar because we can also speak fluent Chinese.”

Myanmar students only need to show proof of identificatio

n and a birth certificate to register at the school and are allowed four entries into China a day, he said.

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raujo said IFRC is sending staff to Malawi, Mozambique and

  Zimbabwe to help families who don’t have access to phone or internet find their missing relatives.

  About 1.7 million people are affected by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, according to UNICEF.

  ”The situation on the ground remains critical,” said Christophe Boulierac, UNICEF sp

okesperson in Geneva, describing the scene in Beira.”There is no electricity or running water.”

  Thousands of people are congregating in informal camps in desperate c

onditions, according to UNICEF representative Marco Luigi Corsi, who has traveled to affected areas.

  Eyewitness account

  Taylor, 62, who has lived in Mozambique for 10 years, became stranded on Satur

day on the highway to Zimbabwe from Beira, where Cyclone Idai made landfall, after flood waters one-meter high blocked the road.

  At 3 a.m. on Monday, he abandoned his car and joined the stre

ams of people wading in the pitch black through the waters along the raised highway.

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But he also saw people heading back towards the flood zon

  Cyclone Idai made landfall in Mozambique on midnight local time on

Thursday, March 14, with 175 kph (109 mph) winds,

  It wasn’t the strongest storm to have hit Mozambique, but the region had

recently been deluged by heavy rains. After lingering off the coast for days, gatherin

g strength, Idai finally dumped a huge amount of water on Beira — a city of

500,000 people — destroying “90%” of the area, according to aid agencies.

  One week later, thousands of people remain missing across Mozambique,

Malawi, and Zimbabwe. Millions of others acr

oss have been left destitute without food or basic services, according to reports.

he high commissioner for Mozambique in the UK, Filipe Chidumo, said

Wednesday that the country needs “a sustained effort on part of the

Mozambican government as well as the inter

national community” to help rescue stranded people, and provide, food,

sanitation and water for those at risk.

  ”This is a big tragedy of biblical proportions,” he said, adding that major

work will be needed, including the restor

ation of electricity, water and sanitation to prevent the emergence of waterborne

diseases, as well as repairs to public infrastructure.

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Many banks have set up new offices in Germany, France,

  ther EU countries to safeguard their regional business after Brexit. Financial services companies also have to move substantial asset

s there to satisfy EU regulators. Assets worth at least £1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) are leaving the country, according to consultancy EY.

  Sony (SNE) and Panasonic (PCRFF) are both moving their European headquarters to the Netherlands.

  Manufacturing comapanies, which need their supply chains to function seamlessly, have also made changes. Nissa

n (NSANF) has scrapped plans to build a new model in the United Kingdom, citing uncertainty over Brexit. Ger

man engineering group Schaeffler (SCFLF) is shutting two of its three factories in Britain for the same reason.

  The biggest risk

  The most dangerous scenario — a disorderly Brexit — could still come to pass.

  EU leaders on Thursday granted the United Kingdom a short delay to Brexit, but the

country could still crash out of the bloc unless UK lawmakers agree a path forward.

www.ashchc.com