The US team expressed the willingness to make joint effor

rts with the Chinese team to strive for the conclusion of a deal that meets the interests of both sides.

“We bring the best wishes of President Trump. He’s asked us to state that

he also places great importance on his personal relationship with you,” Lighthizer said.

“We have had two very good days of negotiations. We feel that we have made headway on some very, very important and

very difficult issues,” he said. “We have additional work we have to do but we are hopeful.”

Xi asked Lighthizer and Mnuchin to extend his sincere greetings to President Trump, saying

that he cherishes their good working relationship and would like to keep in contact with him.

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Moreover, the West likes to attack China by using Chinese

dissidents and their families. Western countries believe that they can easily dig up stories about those people and they can be easily manipulat

ed as well. However, what happened with Angela Gui has sent a clear message that there is always the risk of it backfiring. Those peopl

e are fully aware of being used by some Western interests, which results in a strong sense of insecurity and suspicion. Some of them are also selfish. A f

ew years ago, a Chinese dissident well-known in the West left China for the US and later embarrassed his American patrons.

Furthermore, nowadays Western public opinion is increasingly radical and populist, which has made it difficult for some countrie

s to adopt a realistic approach and repair relations with China after disputes. Some prominent for

eigners who have a comprehensive understanding of China are facing an increasing risk of acting differently from t

he radical sentiment. Recently, John McCallum, Canadian ambassador to China, was criticized and finally lost his po

sition, due to his attempt to ease the China-Canada relationship regarding the incident of Meng Wanzhou.

Last but not least, the incident has primarily embarrassed the Swedish Foreign Ministry m

ore than causing trouble to China. Some Western media claim that Anna Lindstedt’s behavior pr

oves China exercises significant influence on ambassadors of Western countries to China. Such a comment is hi

ghly unprofessional and makes no sense except to show they do not know what they are talking about. Am

bassadors are usually among those in their own country who hope at the utmost to maintain sound relations with th

e country to which they are posted. Generally, they are supposed to play a dovish role, not a hawkish one. Some We

stern media authors need to learn basic ABC knowledge of diplomacy. (The author is a commentator with the Global Times)

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urope needs economic cooperation, not blind suspicion

Austria’s technology ministry has called on Europe to form a joint position on whether or not to allow Chinese firm Huawei to equip 5G for next-generation mobile networks. This consideration co

mes amid the US-hyped security concerns over Huawei and Washington’s relentless efforts to thwart the 5G efforts of this leading tech company.
5G

will be one of the most critical components of the digital economy and society, not only in China but also Europe. Europe has taken significant ste

ps to lead global developments toward this strategic technology. To reposition itself as a leader in world affairs including the field of technology, Europe h

as no reason to reject cooperation with Huawei which has developed the most advanced 5G technology, disregarding u

nwarranted US claims.
Europe is caught in the middle. While the continent treads carefully between China an

d the US, what is at stake is its own interests. As China tries to offer a cooperative approach, Europe, a longtime US ally, is hesi

ant to accept. The Belt and RoadInitiative proposed by China presents tremendous opportunities in terms of trade and g

rowth, while skepticism lingers in Europe about the geopolitical ambition the initiative may harbor.
Ob

servers believe that the funds allocated by the EU will fall way short of what is really needed. The EU will allocate funding for this project in its ne

xt multiannual budget, which will stretch from 2021 to 2027, but can Europe afford to wait till then to walk out of its current plight?

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Easing likely with slowing of economiespected to move

na may move more toward monetary easing, joining a group of other major economies prone to dovish policy typified by more accommodative measures that stimulate growth, analysts said.

This comes at a time when global central bank governors have become more concerned about an economic slowdown and put tightening measures on hold.

Central bankers in the United States, European Union, Japan and Oceania have had a change in

mood in the past month, given worries that a too tight monetary environment may not cushion the

ir economies from shocks from trade tensions, Brexit and financial vulnerabilities. They sounded the alarm ov

er global uncertainties after the International Monetary Fund downgraded its forecast of the world’s economic growth in January.

With bank governors delivering dovish speeches one after another, the Chinese mo

netary authority is considering an adjustment to financial institutions’ “act

ual” lending rate for companies in order to remove the “obstacle” that constrains credit flowing into the co

untry’s production sector, according to Sun Guofeng, head of the PBOC Monetary Policy Department

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Forward-looking measures have already been taken

 by the Chinese monetary authority, earlier than other major central banks, based on the evaluation on macroeconomic conditions and the exter

nal environment. Policy fine-tuning will send positive signals to the market and support financial resilience, Zhang said.

This year, the remarkable change in tone from the world’s major central banks is shifting into a monet

ary easing cycle, and policies from the Chinese central bank are headed in the same direction, Zhang added.

A recent research note from Goldman Sachs forecast China’s credit growth to rise in January as commercial banks may be “si

gnificantly more aggressive than before” with encouragement from the easing policy. With the PBOC scheduled to

release more data this week, the trend may be reflected in faster growth of new yuan loans and the broad money supply.

Amid a good fall of snow, which Chinese traditionally believe promises a year of harvest and

prosperity, Chinese and United States top officials started two days of talks in Beijing on Thursday.

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Which is why US President Donald Trump’s latest remarks

that the negotiations have been progressing “very well” and he might reportedly even let the March 1 deadline “slide for a little while” — have been taken as portents that progress is being made and a positive result may well be on the way.

Especially as White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has raised the possibility of Trump meeting with Pres

ident Xi Jinping at the US president’s personal retreat at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, sometime in March — The White Ho

use has previously said the two leaders would have to meet to strike the final bargain.

The market never lies, as the saying goes. Let’s hope that’s true, because the stock market has already

cast a vote of confidence in China and the US being able to reach a deal. The bench mark S

hanghai Composite Index has rebounded more than 10 percent, and the Dow Jones industrial average, more than 15

percent, from their lows in December when Sino-US trade tensions were running high.

It is apt that melting snow symbolizes a new beginning, as positive progress in the talks would m

ean a convergence of expectations for bilateral relations and help ensure the Sino-US relationship has a s

olid foundation of mutual trust and good momentum for positive interaction at the start of its fifth decade.

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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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Blueprint for Bay Area to be revealedanticipate greate

The blueprint for the massive economic development that will turn the Guangdong-Ho

ng Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area into a global economic powerhouse will be made public within days.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor did not disclose the exact date for the rele

ase when speaking to reporters before Hong Kong’s weekly Executive Council meeting on Tuesday. S

he did, however, announce that a conference on Feb 21 will begin poring over details of the project.

Lam said the blueprint would lay out broad guidelines after which local go

vernments in Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macao will work together wi

th the support of central government departments to pull the project together with concrete planning.

Cross-sector heavyweights in Hong Kong welcomed the upcoming development blu

eprint, saying it could lead the city’s different sectors into a stronger growth phase.

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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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