Hopefully, the discussions over the past three month

hs have helped both sides to better understand each other’s concerns and fostered greater mutual trust.

That the feel-good atmosphere that has prevailed since the January discussions in Washington has been mai

ntained by this round of talks was evident as the negotiations are to continue in the US capital next week. This welcome dev

elopment was confirmed by Xi, who said he hoped the discussions would carry forward the positive momentum as i

t conformed to the interests of both countries to strengthen their cooperation.

Although it is probably too hasty to interpret from this that a deal is imminent given s

ome of the US demands, it is to be hoped that the just-concluded negotiations have laid the groundwork for

next week’s discussions to establish a framework for a resolution to the trade dispute, so that a meeting between Xi and T

rump, which is regarded as necessary to finalize any deal, can be scheduled for this purpose as soon as possible.

New progress on the outstanding difficult issues is imperative as the trade frictions have not been good for either country, despite claims to the contrary.

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Norwegian-born youth predicted to play for China

orwegian-born John Hou Sæter, a midfielder with Beijing Guo’an, received his temporary Chinese ID card Tuesday, becoming the first naturalized Chinese footballer.

Known as Hou Yongyong in China, the 21-year-old is expected to make his Guo’an debut in the Chinese Football Assoc

iation (CFA) Super Cup match between Shanghai SIPG and Beijing Guo’an next weekend, according to The Paper.

Guo’an has also registered him up for the upcoming AFC Champions League.

It has also been predicted that he may receive a national team call-up in the future.

Hou Sæter made his debut for Norwegian side Rosenborg in a domestic cup game against Orkla F

K in 2014. The appearance made him, at 16 years and 101 days, Rosenborg’s youngest ever senior player.

In September 2014 he made his debut in the Norwegian top f

light against Aalesund, coming on as an 81st-minute substitute in a 3-0 win. This made him his sid

e’s youngest ever league debutant, at 16 years and 258 days, beating the previous record by nine days.

Speaking on the speculation that Hou Sæter may one day play for the Chinese national side, h

is mother, Hou Yurong, said that it would be “both my wish and his own choice. I’m always his biggest fan.”

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hina refutes report of contact with Venezuelan opposition

BEIJING – China said on Wednesday that it hoped relevant media would report news abiding by principles of being objective and fair.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks when asked for comments on The Wall Street Jou

rnal reporting that Chinese diplomats had contact with Venezuelan opposition representatives in Washington.

“Recently, some media have been cooking up fake news. I don’t know what the purpose is,” said Hua at a press br

iefing. “We hope relevant media will report news abiding by principles of being objective and fair.”

As for the current Venezuela issue, China advocates seeking a political settlement through dialogue and consultation, Hua said.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, scheduled to launch a US Air Force navigation satellite, sits on Launch Complex 40 after the

launch was postponed after an abort procedure was triggered by the onboard flight computer, at Cape Canavera

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Former PBOC governor wins 2019 lifetime achievement award

Zhou Xiaochuan, former governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), has won the UK’s 2019 Central Banking lifetime achievement award, according to the publication’s website.

Zhou, the sixth winner of the award, stands out for his high levels of integrity, intellectual ri

gor and bold reforms that have served the public interest in China and elsewhere, said a statement of the website.

The Central Banking Awards were established to recognize outstanding perform

ance in individuals and organizations in the central banking community.

Zhou, who stepped down as PBOC governor in March 2018, had served in his position from

December 2012-2018, which makes him China’s longest serving central bank governor since 1949.

The award recognizes the impact Zhou had on the central bank and the Chinese economy.

“While in office, Zhou demonstrated high levels of integrity in his pursuit of public s

ervice. He brought academic rigor to real-world decision-making, acting as a prag

matic policymaker with a strong sense of what was in the public interest,” the statement said.

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Consumers are more willing to spend money this year

Whether it is filial piety to the elderly or rewarding children or themselves, trading volu

me has kept growing. Spending on entertainment and travel also grew fast,” said Chen Han, a data analyst at China UnionPay.

Consumption has become the biggest driver for the economy, contributing 76.2 percent of the co

untry’s economic growth last year, up 18.6 percentage points over the previous year, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

“Judging from major economic indicators, domestic demand has become a decisive force of China’s economic gro

wth,” said Wang Bin, deputy director-general of the ministry’s department of market operation and consumption promotion.

Several factors will support steady consumer spending growth in China. Residential inco

me has been increasing fast and deeper pockets facilitate more spending. The second China Int

ernational Import Expo in Shanghai will also offer more access to global products, Wang said.

Wang Jun, a researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, exp

ects more favorable policies to further boost domestic shopping this year as nationwide tax cuts continue.

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Trump announced last week that he will sit down with

for their second summit. Their first summit in Singapore last June resulted in Kim’s vague commitment to the “complete

denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” a term that his propaganda machine previously used w

hen it argued it would only denuclearize after the U.S. withdraws its troops from South Korea.

Trump’s top envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, visited Pyongyang last week to work out details of the upcoming summit. After

being briefed by Biegun about his Pyongyang trip, South Korea’s presidential office said Sunday that U.S. a

nd North Korean officials plan to meet again the week of Feb. 17 in an unidentified Asian country.

The U.S. military arrived in South Korea to disarm Japan, which colonized the K

orean Peninsula from 1910-45, following its World War II defeat. Most U.S.

troops were withdrawn in 1949 but they returned the next year to fight alongside South Korea in the Korean War.

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More than 12 mln entry, exit trips made during Spring Fes

Border inspection agencies across China have seen more th

an 12.5 million entry and exit trips made during the week-long Spring Festival holiday that started Mo

nday, an increase of nearly 11 percent than that of last year, the National Immigration Administration (NIA) said Sunday.

Inbound trips exceeded 6.22 million, rising by about 9.5 percent than the figure of 2018, wh

ile outbound trips increased by nearly 12.5 percent to over 6.31 million, according to the NIA.

Over 7.22 million entry and exit trips during the holiday were made by mainland residents for personal p

urposes, including traveling and visiting family members, growing by nearly 16 percent year on year.

Destinations visited most included Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, the Republic of K

orea, Singapore, Malaysia and the United States, as well as Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, the NIA said.

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China and UK celebrate icebreakers, laud even closer ties

China and the United Kingdom should break the ice of protectionism and build an open an

d inclusive world economy, China’s ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, said in London on Thursday.

“China will continue to embrace the world with open arms and stands ready to work with oth

er countries. We hope the rest of the world would respond in the same spirit,” he said. “In a time when op

enness and inclusiveness are irreversible, protectionism has no future because it is against the trend of history.”

The remarks were made before 400 business, political, and cultural leaders at

tending a Chinese New Year celebration in London that was hoste

d by The 48 Group Club and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Britain.

The year 2018 marked the 65th anniversary of an “ice-breaking trip” to Chi

na in 1953 that was made by a group of farsighted people from the British business community.

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Portuguese president vow closer bilateral tiesg Liyuan, stand

President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, stand with Portuguese President M

arcelo Rebelo de Sousa at Belem Palace, the official presidential residence in Lisb

on, Portugal, on Dec 4, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]
President Xi Jinping and his Portuguese counterpart, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, vowe

d on Friday to make concerted efforts to advance bilateral ties to benefit the two countries and the two peoples.

The two presidents made the statement in exchanging congratulations on the 40th

anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Portugal.

In his congratulatory message to Rebelo de Sousa, Xi said that over the past four d

ecades, the two nations have been promoting sound development of bila

teral ties in the spirit of mutual respect, treating each other as equals and benefiting from win-win cooperation.

He hailed the proper resolution of the question of Macao by the two countries in 1999

as a good example of how nations can solve problems left from history through friendly consultations.

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ope Japan-China relations will make further progress in the

New Year. And I wish our friends success and progress,” he said.

In a video message on the occasion of the Lunar New Year, United Nations Se

cretary-General Antonio Guterres thanked China and the Chinese people for

their commitment to the UN and called for efforts to build a peaceful and prosperous world.

“I’m pleased to send you my best wishes on this

auspicious occasion,” he said, adding “Happy Spring Festival” in Mandarin.

“Despite the headwinds in our world today, we know that when we work together, we get things done. In that sp

irit, I wish you and your families health, success and happiness in this new year,” he said.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan sent his best wishes to the Chinese people on the eve of the Chinese New Year.

“We are proud of the achievements of our iron brother, a good neighbor and strategic partner,” he said.

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