hina strengthens financial support for small, micro businesses

BEIJING — China has made solid progress in alleviating the financing

problems of small and micro firms, a senior official said Friday.

Outstanding loans to such businesses amounted to 33.49 trillion yuan ($5 trillion) by the end of 2018, accounting for 23.

81 percent of the total outstanding loans, Zhu Shumin, vice chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said in a statement.

In particular, outstanding inclusive loans to small and micro firms reached 9.36 trillion yuan

, growing 21.79 percent from the beginning of the year, 9.2 percentage points faster than the total loans.

The number of borrowers increased 4.55 million from the beginning of 2018 to 17.23 million, Zhu said.

Meanwhile, efforts have been made to cut financing costs, with the average interest rate of newly

issued inclusive loans to small and micro firms in the fourth quarter of 2018 down 0.8 percentage points from the first quarter.

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brought all the skyscraper buildings down and this is one

  Australian Prime Minister Morrison said he has asked for flags to be flown at half-staff out of respect for those killed in the attack.

  ”Australians stand with all New Zealanders today during this dark time where hate and v

iolence has stolen their peace and innocence. Kia kaha (stay strong),” Morrison tweeted earlier.

  US President Donald Trump said in a tweet: “My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to t

he people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so sen

selessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can.”

  My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the hor

rible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seri

ously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!In a statement, the White House sa

id: “The United States strongly condemns the attack in Christchurch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the vict

ims and their families. We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate.

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May sent her “deepest condolenc

  My thoughts are with all of those affected by this sickening act of violence,” she wrote.

  France has also stepped up security at places of worship in the light of the shootings.

  Interior Minister Christophe Castaner called for increased surveillance and patrols near “denominational spaces.”

  CNN’S Yazhou Sun, Paul Murphy and Eric Cheung, and journalist Matthew Mckew contributed to this report.

  ”I’m very lucky to come from a place like this and that’s why I became an activist,” says Toby Thorpe.

  Thorpe grew up in the Huon Valley in the far south of Tasmania. He

is helping to organize the strike in Tasmania’s capital – Hobart – because he wants to ensu

re that future generations will experience the island’s natural beauty and clean air.

  ”The reality of climate change really impacted my community this year, when bushfires r

avaged the Huon Valley, and burned over 200,000 hectares of wilderness across the state” he says.

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litical advisers leave the closing meeting of the seco

Economic, social concerns take center stage in National Committee

More than 2,100 national political advisers wrapped up their annual meeting o

n Wednesday in Beijing with more attention devoted to the country’s economic and social issues.

President Xi Jinping and other leaders attended the closing meeting of the second session of the 13th National Commi

ttee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing on Wednesday.

Wang Yang, chairman of the 13th CPPCC National Committee, called on members to better serve as consultants to the gov

ernment, including legislative and judicial organs, to support the development of the country.

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He stressed that the armed forces’ 14th five-year deve

elopment plan should fit with national strategies in development, security and the mil

itary, and should integrate their current and future needs to pursue sustainable, consistent growth.

Xi insisted on the military understanding the determination and intention of the Party’s leadership, exerting itself to enhance

combat preparedness and firmly safeguarding China’s sovereignty, safety, development interests, and social stability.

He also instructed the military to support the country’s economic and social development, envi

ronmental endeavors and disaster and accident relief work. It should also play its part in poverty alleviation, he added.

Governments at all levels should, in turn, support the military’s work, make appropriate arrangements for veterans’ empl

oyment, take good care of military retirees with physical difficulties and the family members of military personnel, an

d support the military’s efforts to withdraw from all its commercial activities, Xi said.

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The young soldiers in the new era are passionate, ambit

itious, and knowledgeable, with many holding a bachelor’s or master’s degree, he said.

The young people enlisted in recent years are, in general, well-rounded, he

said. In 2018, university graduates accounted for 60 percent of the intake, he added.

They are also more skilled and qualified with more qualifications, including academic degr

ees, vocational skills certificates and other awards for participating in various competitions, he said.

In addition, he said, their willingness to serve the countr

y is growing increasingly intense and the generation born after 2000 are a major force.

“They are cheerful, aspirational and energetic. Talking with them you will feel that they have an

urgent desire to thrive in the military and contribute to making our country and military stronger,” he said.

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Highlights: Press conference on market regulationinister of th

hinese officials speak on strengthening market regulation and safeguarding market order

at a news conference during the second Session of the 13th National People’s Congress on March 11, 2019.

Minister of State Administration for Market Regulation Zhang Mao, Head of National Medical Products Admin

istration Jiao Hong and Commissioner of National Intellectual Property Administration Shen Changyu meet the press.

hina will improve its long-term regulatory mechanism for vaccines and implement the toughest possible over

sight on related products, Jiao Hong, head of the National Medical Products Administration, said on Monday.

She said domestically made vaccines were safe overall, affirming comments made by the head of Ch

ina’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention on March 4, who urged the public not to lose trust in the country’s vaccine sector.

Jiao said a new draft law on vaccine management, to tighten the supervision and

management of production, research, and distribution of these products, had

been reviewed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, and released to solicit public opinion.

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The islanders were shipped to Rongerik, an uninhabited atoll

  about 100 miles away, and left food supplies for a few weeks. But crops on the Bikinians’ new home produced signif

icantly less food than those on Bikini, and the nearby waters had far less edible catch.

  Within two years, the population was on the verge of starvation.

  In 1948, the US responded to their plight. Once more the Bikinians were uprooted — this ti

me to Kwajalein, where they lived in tents next to a cement airstrip used by Americans. Six months lat

er, they were shipped to Kili Island, 400 miles south of Bikini, where they again began to starve.

  One attempt was made to resettle the Bikinians in the late 1960s when some 150 residents we

re returned to their atoll. But in 1978 it was revealed that within one year some residents had seen a 75% inc

rease in radioactive material in their bodies, and all residents were once again moved, this time to Majuro Atoll.

  In the early 1980s, the Bikinians filed a class action lawsuit against the US, which eventually resu

lted in the creation of a $90 million trust fund for their local government for cleanup and resettlement purposes.

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I still felt very nervous but I tried to calm down since I am ra

ther more experienced than my new partner Lu. It is our second time competing together, we should encou

rage each other,” said Zhang, who won both individual and synchro in the first leg of the World Series in Sagamihara, Japan.

Shi Tingmao/Wang Han ruled the women’s 3m springboard with 339.30 and Maddison Keene

y/Anabelle Smith of Australia took the silvers at 300.93, Grace Reid/Katherine Torrance of Britain had the bronzes.

The three-day second-leg World Series attracts 78 elite divers from 14 countries and regions.

NBA China and Alibaba Group today announced an expansion of their partnership that will bring NBA content to Alib

aba’s platforms for the first time, along with an enhanced online shopping experience for consumers in China.

An “NBA Section” will be launched across Alibaba’s platforms.

The Section will leverage Alibaba’s technology and consumer insights, allowing fans in China to enjoy pers

onalized and engaging content, in addition to shopping for NBA merchandise all in one ecosystem.

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The NBA is always looking to innovate, and we are abso

lutely thrilled to expand our partnership with Alibaba,” said NBA China CEO Derek Chang. “We share the same goal, which is to prov

ide fans with one-of-a-kind online content consumption and shopping that leverages the latest tech

nology. We look forward to working with Alibaba to continue to grow the game of basketball in China.”

Toby Xu, Vice President of Alibaba Group said: “The NBA is one of the mostpopular sports le

agues in the world, with a sizable and passionate fan base in China. With this expanded partnership, we will fully leve

rage Alibaba’s ecosystem to create a unique digital experience and bring the NBA closer to fans and consumers in China.”

The rich content offering is the latest collaboration between the NBA and Alib

aba.The NBA Tmall flagship store was launched in 2012, offering a wide variety of NBA-licensed merchandise.

The expanded partnership with the NBA is also part of Alibaba’s “A100 Program,” which offers companies a holistic, one-stop s

olution to accelerate their digital transformation through Alibaba’s cross-platform ecosystem.

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