The document said such practices have adversely affect

ted the interests of WTO members, especially developing-nation members, and undermined the

authority and efficacy of the WTO. As a consequence, the organization is facing an unprecedented crisis.

China suggested necessary reforms of the WTO be made so as to overcome the crisis, strengthen its auth

ority and efficacy, and enlarge its relevance in terms of global economic governance. It also

proposed strengthening the inclusiveness of the multilateral trading system, said an official with the De

partment of WTO Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce, in an online statement late on Tuesday.

The unnamed official stressed the need to resolve several urgent issues threatening the existence of free trade and globalization.

Even though China didn’t mention the United States by name in the proposal, it refe

rred to a number of policies clearly associated with Washington. Experts stressed tha

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Fertility rates, meanwhile, remain astonishingly high in

n some countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. In a few of the poorest-Niger, Mali and th

e Democratic Republic of Congo-the rate is 6-7 children per woman. The resulting flood of new ent

rants to the labor market is far outstripping the number of jobs available.

Empowering women key to meeting challenge

No known growth model can accommodate or keep up with this k

ind of demographic surge. Even sustained economic growth of around 7 percent per year

won’t be enough. And although fertility tends to decline as incomes rise, that does not happen immediately. Em

powering women, therefore, may be the most effective way of starting to address the challenge.

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ess. And the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiativ althoug

ugh criticized by much of the West, and the US in particular-could bring dramatic

improvements in physical and digital connectivity to Central Asia and parts of Africa.

Further advances in critical infrastructure will create important growth opportunities for developing countries via e-commerce, mobile paym

ents, and related financial services. The experience of China suggests that these digital platforms, and the ecosy

stems that develop around them, are powerful engines for incremental, highly inclusive growth.

China, of course, is a very large, homogenous market. If smaller, lower-income developing countries are to bene

fit from equally rapid inclusive growth, the digital platforms will have to be regional and international in scope.

Some are starting to emerge. Jumia, a Nigeria-based e-commerce

platform covering 14 African countries, recently went public on the New York Stock Exchange, am

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competitors. This was the policy followed by the US in the

 in the 19th century and by Western Europe, Japan, and South Korea in the years after World War II.

China is no longer a poor country. It can no longer compete by using l

ow-wage labor. Fortunately, it has now developed world-class companies that are incr

easingly developing new products and services that can compete successfully in many foreign markets.

Now that it has reached middle-income status, China’s economic strategy will focus on creating a highly competitive dom

estic market that forces companies to produce high-value goods so they can pay high wages to highly skilled people.

Because of its long experience in manufacturing, much of th

at push will be focused on higher value-added production, using the new technologies of rob

otics, artificial intelligence, the internet of things and 5G. This is the only way to avoid the middle-income trap.

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The reform and opening-up policies are exactly the kin

ds of market-driven reforms needed to make this happen. The Chinese government is investing heavily in research

and development, but it should be noted that the R&D spending as a percentage of GDP is still lower than that of the US.

Nobody likes competition against themselves. So, it must be admitted that China’s transiti

on to a high-tech, high-value-added economy will come as a shock to many companies around the world.

The US economy, which has about 7 percent of GDP in high-tech manufacturing, will be lightly affected by this change.

On the other hand, advanced manufacturing contributes around 20 percent of GDP in South Korea, Japan, Ge

rmany and a few smaller European countries. They will be much more directly affected.

China’s transition over the next 10 years will not be painless for its compa

nies or for foreign competitors. But, reform and opening-up policies that create more com

petitive companies and markets are the only way to achieve a richer and more productive world economy in the long term.

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China has also recently announced a strengthened reg

gime of intellectual property rights protection. Again, this is what foreign negotiat

ors are seeking, but also is important for China’s own economy as it transitions to being a technology leader.

Trade agreements can affect the types of goods being traded and they can redirect trade toward one c

ountry, away from others. They cannot directly affect any country’s worldwide current account bal

ance. A country that saves less than it invests will have to borrow foreign funds to import foreign goods to make up that difference.

There are two ways to reduce the US trade deficit. A serious recession would reduce investme

nt, but nobody advocates that as a strategy. The only other path is to change the US financial and gov

ernment system to encourage increased savings. China has almost nothing to do with it.

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Wu Zhongliang, director of the administration’s Institu

itute of Earthquake Forecasting, said the experimental site will help form a

“united front” at the national and international level to work on earthquake forecasting.

Referring to earthquake forecasting as a hard nut to crack, Wu said t

he work cannot see marked progress just in a few days, but forecasting capability will be imp

roved as technology develops. “If it’s a war between humans and earthquakes, it’s us that will finally win,” he said.

Paul Tapponnier, a distinguished research professor a

t the administration’s Institute of Crustal Dynamics, said he “wholeheartedly” wel

comes the project. China boasts unique conditions to carry out the experiment as most of its earthquakes oc

cur “inside the land under the feet of the people” rather than in the ocean, and there are many active faults in the country.

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US soy farmers call for cool-down of trade tensions

US soy farmers have urged Washington to work for a positive solution to the current tarif

f dispute with the world’s top oilseed buyer China, and avoid further escalation of trade tensions.

In a statement released late Tuesday, the American Soybean Association (ASA) described the t

hreat by US President Donald Trump’s administration to increase the tariff rate from 10 percent to 25 p

ercent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods as the “worst case” for US soybean growers.

“This is a predicament for soy growers,” said Davie Stephens, ASA president and a soybean farmer from Kentucky.

“With depressed (soybean) prices and unsold stocks fo

recast to double before the 2019 harvest begins in September, we nee

d the China market reopened to US soybean exports within weeks, not months or longer,” he added.

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Other signs of a more vigorous Chinese economy wer

 also visible in the quarterly financial results, including an accelerated transition to innovation-based growth.

According to Wind Info, sectors like communication, non-banking financials and co

mputers topped the earnings growth of all sectors of the A-share market in the first quarter.

“The communication sector registered a 310-percent growth in profits in

the first quarter, bolstered by the acceleration of 5G infrastructure construction and the rec

overy of industry giant ZTE Corp,” said Wang Yi, chief strategist at Shenzhen-based Great Wall Securities.

In the future, as large-scale commercial uses of 5G are poised to take

place, profitability of related companies will continue to see improvements, he said.

Listed companies have also stepped up innovation capabilities. In 2018, Sh

enzhen-listed companies increased their aggregate research and dev

elopment expenditure by 22.3 percent, with 11.4 percent of them having R&D expenditure in excess of 10 percent o

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r kids’ footprints have been left on hundreds of desti

“Products that just scratch the surface, like simple tours of famous universities, have fallen out of favor with the market,” Zhang says.

Language training, NASA’s space camp, computer programming, homes

tays, wild animal care and desert and museum experiences are among the most popular options.

“Certain volunteering and public-welfare routes have seen a particularly fast increase in bookings,” Zhang says.

During the recent winter vacation in February, study-t

rip bookings surged by 80 percent compared with the same period of last year.

Domestic trips cost roughly 4,500 yuan ($663) per capita on ave

rage, while expenditures hit 21,000 yuan for outbound experiences, the agency reports.

Parents from Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong province’s Guangz

hou and Shenzhen are the most willing to spend, according to Ctrip’s data.

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