Top economic planner bullish on reaching annual growth

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

nce to achieve the annual projected growth goal, said the country’s top economic planner.

“The first quarter’s stable economic development has laid a solid foundation for the an

nual growth,” said Yuan Da, spokesperson with the National Development and Reform Commission.

“The economy has stayed on the track of steady growth. We have the confidence, conditio

ns and capability to meet the projected targets for economic and social development this year.”

Yuan made the remarks at the NDRC press conference on Thursday in Beijing.

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s economy expanded at a faster-than-expected 6.4 perce

nt year-on-year in the first quarter. The growth was unchanged from that in the fourth quarter in 2018.

www.9402267.org.cn

China’s foreign direct investment up 6.5% in Q1

China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) totaled 242.28 billion yuan in the first quarter of t

his year, up 6.5 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Commerce said Thursday.

FDI in China from non-financial sectors reached $35.8 billio

n in the first three months, up 3.7 percent year-on-year.

Investment from South Korea, the United States and Germany in China m

eanwhile increased 79.6 percent, 71.3 percent and 86.1 percent year-on-year, respectively.

Foreign capital flowing to the country’s high-tech manufacturing s

ector surged 14.8 percent year-on-year to 25.97 billion yuan during the same period.

March’s FDI amounted to 95.17 billion yuan, up eight percent year-on-year.

www.9463296.org.cn

The most recent incident was Saturday in Jinjiang, Fujian

when the late Qing Dynasty residence of Wu Lu, the province’s last zhuangyuan (top scorer on imperial examinations), was damaged.

Fire this year also destroyed a bridge dating from four centuries ago in Nanping, Fuji

an, a Qing Dynasty residence in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, and an office structure from the 1930s in Fuzhou, Jiangxi.

The operators of the sites hit by fire will be responsible for the dam

age, said the heritage administration. “Electrical faults and loose supervision over the use of fire

during renovation are the main reasons” for the damage, the administration’s statement said.

Though the fire at Notre Dame is under investigation, Frenc

h officials said they suspect its source might have been related to restoration work on the cathedral.

9319888.org.cn

The museum has some 50 firefighters on duty around

he clock, a fire engine, over 160 hydrants, thousand of extinguishers, and fire walls, officials said last year.

But not all relics have such rigid supervision. A joint comprehensive survey was started in Septemb

er by the administration and the Ministry of Emergency Management. It found that 33 major institutions still don‘t meet stan

dards, and the State Council issued a notice on Wednesday that they were to receive the highest-level supervision.

On Tuesday, the administration urged local governments to immediately launch evaluations of potential hazards.

The new lawsuit against Liu Qiangdong, the billionaire founder and CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant JD, and his compan

y filed by a University of Minnesota student might further shake investors’ confidence, and tarnish the image

and reputation of the company, amid tougher competition from rivals such as Alibaba and Pinduoduo.

The Chinese student from University of Minnesota, who claimed she was raped last August by Liu, filed a c

ivil lawsuit against him in Minneapolis on Tuesday, four months after prosecutors decided not to pursue a criminal case.

www.7893386.cn

From January to March, government tax income inc

creased by 5.4 percent year-on-year, 11.9 percentage points lower than that in the first quarter 2018.

Individual income tax decreased by 29.7 percent, the largest drop among three major tax item

s. Value-added tax growth has already slowed to 10.7 percent, down from 20.1 percent a year earlier.

Local government income from land sales fell 9.5 percent in the first three months, the Ministry of Finance said.

As the central bank has taken a pause in monetary easing, fiscal policy should remain pro

active to stabilize economic growth and ensure the recent rebound is not just a seasonal fluke, said economists.

Xu Xianchun, a former deputy director at the National Bureau of Statist

ics, said that fiscal policy should be implemented “with proper intensity and at the right time”, t

o prevent large fluctuations in the investment growth rate and negative impact on economic stability.

www.happla.cn

The two sides can help jointly find solutions to glob

 and bilateral issues despite remaining difficulties in bilateral relations, he said.

The thawing of ties between China and Japan was marked by Li’s visit to the country in

May, the first by a Chinese premier in eight years, and the visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to China in October.

The economic dialogue between the two countries was launched in 2007,

and deteriorated relations due to disputes over a number of issues resulted in an eight-ye

ar hiatus until last April, when the two sides restarted with the fourth round of dialogue in Tokyo.

China said on Monday that the Belt and Road Initiative is open to economic cooperation with

other countries and regions, and it does not become involved in territorial disputes of relevant parties.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a daily news briefing tha

t although the initiative was proposed by China, it is an international project for the public good.

While advancing the initiative, China upholds the principle of equality, openness and transparency and sticks to enter、

prise-oriented market operations as well as market laws and well-accepted international rules, Lu said.

www.settlementcloud.org

schedule must not be imposed on workersschedule

Editor’s note: The “996” schedule (working from 9 am to 9 pm, six

days a week) has sparked a heated public debate, because many workers don’t get any ove

rtime pay and, worse, could end up in the “”. The “996” phenomenon is rampant in the high-tech and internet compani

es. Some internet company chiefs have added fuel to the debate by saying they want their workers to “work hard”. T

hree experts share their views on the issue with China Daily’s Yao Yuxin. Excerpts follow:

Labor Law should never be violated

Given the fierce competition in the high-tech sector industries, start-

ups have to take drastic measures to survive, let alone thrive. To develop new products, and pr

oduce and market them, companies need a great deal of resources and ski

lled manpower. Perhaps this is the reason they make their employees work overtime.

But forcing the “996” schedule on the workers is illegal. To p

rotect the rights of workers, the Labor Law stipulates that employers

should not force their workers to work more than eight hours a day, or more than 44 hours a week. If emplo

www.changjiangjiaoxiang.cn

Zheng Nanning, a researcher at the Chinese Academ

 of Engineering and head of the innovation research academy of intelligent robotics at Xi’an Jiaotong Univer

sity, said the university began considering an undergraduate AI major in 2016, and it has since established an experi

mental undergraduate AI class in 2018 with 55 students taught by the country’s leading AI experts.

The university established the academy in October 2017 and an AI school in Janua

ry. The academy has 26 master’s candidates and eight doctoral candidates, Zheng said.

“Universities should aim for major breakthroughs in basic res

earch and core technology. We are still striving to achieve

revolutionary and disruptive changes in AI theories, methods, tools and systems,” he added.

The ministry issued an action plan in 2018 to promote AI educa

tion in universities. According to the plan, universities in China will improve AI discip

line and make breakthroughs in basic theories and key technology research by 2020.

Chinese universities will become core forces for building major global AI innovation centers by 2030.

shoppingfair.org

The plan calls for integration of AI with mathematics, st

, statistics, physics, biology, psychology and sociology, among other disci

plines. It promotes the “AI + X” interdisciplinary approa

ch in universities and aims to set up 100 majors that combine AI and other subjects by 2020.

Many Chinese universities have set their sights on improving AI education and nurturin

g more AI talent and have established new AI departments and research institutes.

Tsinghua University established an AI institute in 2018 as p

art of its efforts to advance AI research and education.

Aiming to become a globally influential AI research institution, the institute focuses on the basic theory of AI and activ

ely promotes cross-disciplinary AI research as well as the integration of academia and industry.

www.roseway2013.org

The company will not cancel social insurance and housi

sing funds for the sake of cost-cutting, Liu said, adding some staff made 80,000 yuan a

month in pilot areas for the new salary regime in southern China’s second and third-tier cities.

Earlier this year, rumors spread that China’s e-commerce giant would can

cel couriers’ basic salary and reduce welfare. The company confirmed the salary adjus

tment plan via its official Sina Weibo account on April 7, saying as the number of orders from individual clients incre

ases, the company is looking to adopt an incentive plan to reward outstanding employees.

JD will reduce its delivery staff members’ salaries by adopting a commis

sion-based payment scheme starting in June and low

er contributions to employees’ housing funds from 12 to 7 percent, Sina Finance reported.

An anonymous courier with JD Logistics said the task of getting more external delivery

orders under the new salary system would be hard to accomplish, and the new policy will reduce their salary, th

e report alleged, though the courier did not indicate an exact amount for the reduction.

www.qsnsjb.org