investment in environment-friendly urban mas

 transit. According to NBS preliminary estimates, the share of consumption of clean energy such as natural gas, hydropo

wer, nuclear power and wind power in total energy consumption in the first quarter was 1.5 percentage points hi

gher than that of the same period last year. Energy consumption per unit of GDP went down by 2.7 percent year-on-year.

Total investment in fixed aassets grew by 6.3 percent, with private invest

ment growing at 6.4 percent, slightly faster than the overall number. This is es

pecially significant in the light of last year’s fears that private investment in the econo

my might collapse. So, the government’s efforts to strengthen the private sector appear to have borne fruit.

Investment in high-tech manufacturing rose by 11.4 percent and investme

nt in high-tech services rose 19.3 percent, both far higher than overall investment gro]

wth. This shows that the shift toward advanced manufacturing and services is well underway.

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hina’s energy consumption hits five-year record

Growth in China’s energy consumption remains robust while the forms

of energy continued to diversify in 2018, according to an annual report on China’s energy devel

opment released Sunday by the China Electric Power Planning and Engineering Institute.

Total energy consumed last year reached 4.64 billion metric tons o

f standard coal, a year-on-year growth of 3.3 percent – a five-year record, according to the report.

Consumption of clean energy, including natural gas, hydropowe

r, nuclear power and wind power, accounted for 22.1 perc

ent of energy consumption last year, up 1.3 percent compared with the same period in 2017.

Non-fossil energy accounted for 14.3 percent, up 0.5 percentage points year-on-year, the report said.

China produced 3.77 billion tons of standard coal last year, up 5 percent year-on-year, a seve

n-year high. It has also become the world’s largest natural gas importer, with a heavier reliance on energy imports.

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hinese prize for quantum research announced

A total of 12 million yuan ($1.78 million) of cash will be granted to 12 international scientists for their

groundbreaking academic contributions to the fields of quantum computation and quantum com

munications, according to a press release by the newly founded Micius Quantum Foundation on Friday.

With a combined donation of 100 million yuan from Chinese entrepreneurs, the foundation based in Hefei, East China’s Anhu

i province, will give each of the six annual laureates one million yuan. The foundation, a non-profit organization, ai

ms to promote development of quantum information science and technology.

The Micius Quantum Prize’s 2018 and 2019 laureates were announ

ced at the same time, as selection of first-year nominees took longer than expected, said Luo

Yi, president of the foundation and a scientist from the University of Science and Technology of China, based in Hefei.

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Consensus to lead to common prosperityries pose f

President says gathering sets stage for more Belt and Road progress, cooperation

More than $64 billion in deals were signed during the Second Belt a

nd Road Forum for International Cooperation, President Xi Jinping told members of the me

dia from home and abroad in Beijing after the three-day event concluded on Saturday.

In addition, Xi said, during the preparation and holding of the fo

rum, parties reached 283 pragmatic outcomes, including intergovernmental cooperation agre

ements, cooperative projects and the launch of multilateral cooperation platforms.

The outcomes fully demonstrate that joint building of the Belt and Road conforms to the trend of the times, wi

nning the hearts of the people, improving livelihoods and benefiting the whole world, he said.

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The forum helped countries upgrade their concept

 of cooperation, defined key areas and strengthened the mechanism to seek high-quality development of the BRI, he said.

Leaders reached wide-ranging agreement on high-quality cooperation on the BRI at the leaders’ roundtable on Saturday after an i

n-depth exchange of views on issues such as connectivity, policy integration and sustainable development.

They supported comprehensive infrastructure connectivity as a way to foster economic growth and to build high-q

uality, reliable, resilient and sustainable infrastructure, according to a joint communique issued after the roundtable.

All parties involved supported strengthening synergies in development policies using the principle

of extensive consultations, joint contributions for shared benefits and building even closer partnerships, the joint communique said.

The leaders also upheld green and sustainable growth and agreed to enhance cooperation in areas such as environ

mental protection, circular economy and clean energy, according to the communique.

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They maintained that Belt and Road construction wi

l make positive contributions in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations.

The leaders also pledged to pursue trade and investment liberalization

and facilitation, reject protectionism and unilateralism and uphold the rule-based mul

tilateral system with the World Trade Organization at the center, according to the communique.

Xi told reporters that the consensus reached by the leaders has set the right course for the development of the BRI.

Our shared goal is that we work together to make the interconnectivity among various countries more efficient, foster mo

re robust economic growth, develop even closer international cooperation and enable people to live a better life, he said.

Xi also said BRI cooperation projects will be market-based. To ensure s

ustainable development, the leaders agreed to promote a level playing field for business com

munities and create a nondiscriminatory business environment, he said.

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Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institut

e of International Affairs, noted Xi’s emphasis on high-quality development, free t

rade and people-to-people bonds, “all of which are sorely needed around the world”.

“The shift toward high-quality development is a natural extension of what China has been doing for the past few ye

ars. Now that the BRI is five years old, it’s about time to upgrade quality joint development,” he said.

“China is trying to address the concerns that have been raised sinc

e the last Belt and Road Forum two years ago. One of these concerns is the need for infr

astructure projects to be more responsive to the local circumstances of BRI member countries.”

Duncan Freeman, a research fellow at the EU-China Research Centre at t

he College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, said infrastructure is important for economic gro

wth, so building infrastructure and building connectivity and efficient infrastructure are important.

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China looks to strike a balance between meeting finan

ancing needs, sustainable development and debt sustainability, according to Finance Minister Liu Kun.

“We will build a high-standard and high-quality financing system to s

upport long-term and sustainable BRI investment while preventing debt risks,” Liu said.

He suggested promoting financing cooperation for projects in

third-party countries, equity investment and attracting more private funding.

Enhancing debt and risk management is a key consideration for deepening BRI financi

ng cooperation, said Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China, the central bank.

“The debt issue in developing countries should be treated objective

ly. If debt growth is accompanied by infrastructure improvement, enhancement of people’s liveliho

ods and productivity and poverty reduction, it will be beneficial for the sustainability of long-term debt,” Yi said.

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Liu also announced that a multilateral development

financing cooperation center has recently been established — jointly with eight multilateral develo

pment institutions including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Asian Infrastructure In

vestment Bank — to prepare for “high-quality” projects and promote international standards for BRI financing.

Chinese financial institutions have provided more than $440 billion for BRI infrastructure projects. Renminbi-denom

inated overseas investment funds amounted to over 320 billion yuan ($47.49 billion) and the Chinese capital mark

et has helped companies raise 500 billion yuan through equity funding. BRI countries and companies have issued mor

e than 65 billion yuan in Panda bonds in the Chinese onshore market, according to the central bank.

The World Bank said BRI cooperation is predicted to reduce global trade costs by 1.1 percent to 2.2 percent in 2019.

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The death toll of the multiple explosions which ripp

 through Sri Lanka on Sunday has risen to 359, according to a police report released

on Wednesday. While mourning alongside Sri Lankans, the world community needs to shore up greater reso

lve and build a broader consensus to counter extremism and terrorism worldwide.

The terrorist attacks in various locations in the South Asian country o

n the same day must have required a lot of planning, and i

t is believed they were the result of collaboration between domestic and overseas extremists.

This series of terrorist attacks follows the attacks on two mosques in Christc

hurch, New Zealand, and both tragedies should not only sound the alarm but also rally the

international community to eliminate the terrorist and extremist elements in civil societies.

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