President hails US high school students’ roles

Mandarin learners encouraged to play parts in fostering bilateral friendship

President Xi Jinping encouraged a group of United States high-school students to boost

friendship between China and the US as he replied to their letter written to him in Chinese.

“I hope you will make the best of your time, study hard and contribute y

our part to a deeper friendship between the people of our two countries,” Xi wrote in th

e letter, saying the young generations represent the future of the Sino-US friendship.

Over 40 students from Niles North High School in the state of Illinois who are studyi

ng Mandarin Chinese recently wrote to Xi, asking about his work, life and hobbies.

They told the Chinese leader in the letter that they are studying Mandarin, and they love the Chinese language, music and cuisine.

In his written response, Xi expressed gratitude to the students for their letter, and said he

can feel from the letter their love of the Chinese language as well as their interest in Chinese culture.

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Seven arrested as Sri Lanka bombings death toll rises to 207

The death toll from a rash of bombings at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka rose past 200, police and local media said.

“Altogether we have information of 207 dead from

all hospitals. According to the information as of now we have 450 injured peop

le admitted to hospitals,” Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera told reporters in Colombo.

Altogether eight explosions have ripped through the country so far, with six blasts hitting in t

he morning and two in the afternoon. The curfew has been imposed from 6 pm Sunday to 6 am local time on Monday.

The Morning explosions occurred when hundreds of worshipe

rs gathered at churches to commemorate Easter Sunday, the police said.

Police spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekara said two explosions were reported fro

m St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade in capital Colombo and another church in Katana on the outsk

irts of the capital; a third explosion was reported from a church in Batticaloa in the east.

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Two Chinese nationals were confirmed killed, the

Chinese Embassy in Colombo said.The embassy is verifying the number of Chinese injured in the attacks.

Earlier information from the embassy said that four Chinese nationals were injured

in the multiple church and hotel explosions that ripped through the island nation on the Easter day.

The Chinese Embassy has activated an emergency response mechanism immediately a

fter the blasts, and embassy officials have visited the injured who were in hospital for treatment.

Curfew and ban on social media imposed

The government has imposed a nationwide curfew from 6 pm Sunday to 6 am local time on Monday.

The Sri Lankan government has also imposed a temporary ban on social media to prevent the spread of false information.

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Meanwhile, massive rescue operations are underway at

the explosion sites, the police said.Television footage showed ambulances r

ushing the injured to the Colombo National Hospital, the Batticaloa Hospital in

the east and the Negombo Hospital on the outskirts of the capital where the explosions took place.

There has been no claim of responsibility so far for the multiple blasts.

In just one church, St. Sebastian’s in Katuwapitiya, north o

f Colombo, more than 50 people had been killed, a police official told Reuters.

Media reported 25 people were also killed in an attack on a church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called a national security council meeting at his home for later in the day.

One of the explosions was at St Anthony’s Church in Kochcikade, Colombo.

St. Sebastian’s church posted pictures of destruction inside the church on its Fa

cebook page, showing blood on pews and the floor, and requested help from the public.

Out of Sri Lanka’s total population of around 22 million, 70 percent are Buddh

ist, 12.6 percent Hindu, 9.7 percent Muslim, and 7.6 percent Christian, according to the country’s 2012 cen

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China mulls amendment to securities lawendment to the

A draft amendment to the Securities Law was submitted Saturday to a bimonthly session of the

National People’s Congress Standing Committee, China’s top legislature, for a third reading.

The latest revisions to the law include rules on the newly-devised science and technology inn

ovation board, which will pilot a registration-based initial public offering (IPO) system.

Under the current IPO system, new shares are subject to ap

proval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission before being listed.

Other revisions in the draft are made in light of new p

rogress of reforms and new developments of the capital market.

A draft amendment to the law was previously submitte

d to the top legislature for first reading in April 2015, mainly

to meet the legislative demand of reforming the IPO system toward a registration-based one.

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Remaining poverty alleviation tasks are quite arduou

s, and government departments must make continuous efforts to ensure tasks are completed. Off

icials of poverty-stricken counties must keep a close eye on problems to ensure people can escape poverty.

The Party’s publicity work was also discussed. It’s the top political task to learn and publi

cize Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the statement said. A

ll Party committees must pay great attention to publicity work and ensure the implementation of regulations.

A draft amendment to the Securities Law was submitted Saturday to a bimonthly session of

the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, China’s top legislature, for a third reading.

The latest revisions to the law include rules on the newly-devised science and technol

ogy innovation board, which will pilot a registration-based initial public offering (IPO) system.

Under the current IPO system, new shares are subject to approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission before being listed.

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Other revisions in the draft are made in light of new

progress of reforms and new developments of the capital market.

A draft amendment to the law was previously submitted to the top legislature for first reading

in April 2015, mainly to meet the legislative demand of reforming the IPO system toward a registration-based one.

The first draft also improved rules on developing a multi-layer capital market system, strengthen

ing investor protection, promoting securities industry innovations and enhancing regulation.

New revisions were submitted for a second reading in April 2017 to im

prove regulation on such areas as stock trading, acquisitions of listed firms, information disclo

sure and investor protection. The second draft also demanded the State Council to gradually advance the IPO sys

tem reform in accordance with authorization granted by the top legislature.

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China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and latest nuc

More than 60 countries will send delegations to join multinational naval events marking the anniv

ersary, and over 30 countries of them will send major navy leaders to participate, according to Qiu.

Nearly 20 foreign vessels of various capabilities, including destroyers, frigates and landing ships, will join Chinese vessels in the naval parade, sh

owing to the world the “firm determination to safeguard peace and seek development with joint efforts,” Qiu said.

Organizing multinational naval parades is a unique ceremonial activity of navies, according to Qiu.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy has been active in provi

ding security products for the international community since its founding, Qiu said.

The navy has paid over 100 visits to 94 countries and 138 ports, and has held more

than 60 joint military drills with foreign navies over the 70 years, according to Qiu.

Since 2008, the navy has sent 32 escort fleets, 103 vessels, 69 helicopters and more than 27,000 offic

ers and soldiers to escort over 6,600 vessels, more than a half of which were foreign merchant ships, he added.

Since 2010, the naval hospital ship Peace Ark has traveled to 43 countr

ies and regions and provided free medical services to over 230,000 people, Qiu said.

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China’s trade with the US amounted to 815.86 billi

on yuan ($121.7 billion) between January and March, a decrease of 1

1 percent year-on-year, according to the General Administration of Customs.

In March, Sino-US trade climbed 0.1 percent to 291.35 billion yuan, the administration said.

Li Kuiwen, spokesman for the customs authority, said trade tensions between the two cou

ntries have had certain impacts on companies’ operations, but the impact is “generally controllable”.

Li said economic and trade cooperation remains the ballast of Sino-US re

lations, and he is hopeful that China and the US will achieve mutually beneficial results.

China’s economy, despite headwinds, has enjoyed a good start in 2019, and the country

has the confidence to achieve the annual projected growth goal, said the nation’s top economic regulator.

Yuan Da, spokesperson with the National Development and Reform Commission, said the

first quarter’s stable economic development has laid a solid foundation for annual growth.

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The situation is very much like the ceiling of a roo

m in which airborne particulate matter is present. The lower the ceilin

g is, the higher the density of pollutants which then mix with the cleaner air.

With a low mixing layer, Taihang mountain range to the west and the Yanshan mountai

n range to the north serve as walls that form a semi-closed “room” in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster.

The high level of emissions is the major reason for air pollution in th

e greater Beijing area, and meteorological conditions also play a key role as an exte

rnal factor, said Xu Xiangde, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences.

Zhang Xiaoye, Xu’s colleague, said the “marked effect” of continuous pollutant accu

mulation on meteorological conditions could make overall pollution even worse.

“After the accumulation reaches a certain level, it will further wor

sen the meteorological conditions, which then will further affect air quality, causing explosive

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