China has to walk a fine balance between local govern

nment debt management and stable economic growth, especially at a time when trade te

nsions with the United States have imposed more downward pressure, said economists.

More financial resources and investors will be involved in the debt resolution process, said Qiao Baoyun, head of the Acad

emy of Public Finance and Public Policy at the Central University of Finance and Economics.

The last round of local government debt swaps started in 2015 and ended in August 2018, w

hich saw 14.34 trillion yuan ($2.08 trillion) of local government debt being swapped into bonds.

Local governments are set to face more debt burden in the next three ye

ars, as many of the previously issued bonds are set to expire, income from land sales has

7893391.cn

the WTO is for the benefit of the public, not a tool for par

embers. If its members cannot reform the architecture and resolve the key issues, they may all end up in various regional groups.

“Many bilateral tensions or challenges countries are facing today requir

e a multilateral response, and WTO reform is definitely needed, especially in the area

s of trade and investment,” said Xue Rongjiu, deputy director of the Beijing-based China Society for WTO Studies.

Chen Fengying, a senior economics researcher at the China Institutes of Contemporary Internationa

l Relations, said the US government seems to have made driving WTO reform its priority so that the country can claim the high gr

ound in global trade and lead the process for making new rules and establishing a new global trading system.

This move poses a challenge to the WTO and its basic principles including that of most favored nation status and national treatment, she said.

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Hospital head removed after 5 infants dieuthern Medical Uni

Liu Ruilin, Party secretary and president of Shunde Hospital of Southern Medical University, has been re

moved from his positions after five babies died and 14 fell ill during an enterovirus outbreak at the hospital.

The five newborns who died had other underlying diseases, such as pneumonia, before contracti

ng the virus, according to a statement from the Guangdong Health Commission on Saturday.

Thirteen of the sick babies have been discharged from the hospital, wh

ile the other one continues to be treated and is in a stable condition, the commission said.

An investigation determined that the case became serious becaus

e of the combination of the intestinal virus with lax hospital management.

ashded.com

The operation of the infant ward was suspended, and the

e hospital was ordered to solve management problems rela

ting to the case, check on the condition of the surviving babies and console the parents.

A deputy director of the health bureau of the Shunde district of F

oshan, Guangdong, was also fired, and others deemed responsible were punished.

No new case has been reported in the hospitals that have treated the affected babies.

The provincial health commission has ordered all t

he medical institutions in the province to check their infection-control procedures.

The viral strain that affected the infants was identified by the commission as Echo 11. It is an intestinal virus to which child

ren, especially infants, are susceptible. It is closely related to a respiratory infection.

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Overholt said “the list of issues that President Xi has

addressed are the issues that the business community is concerned about”.

“It is excellent that President Xi recognized some problems,” especially those associated with its Belt and Road Initi

ative, such as transparency and corruption, said Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council.

Experts also were interested in how the reform policies and laws would be implemented, something Xi addressed in his speech.

“People are very positive about the direction, but they need to

know the details” of how the promises would be delivered, Overholt said.

Xi, citing the old Chinese saying “honoring a promise carries the weight of gold”, pledged to install a binding mec

hanism for international agreements, to make sure governments at all levels operate in well-regulated wa

ys, and to update laws and regulations to abolish unjustified practices, keeping in line with the needs of opening-up.

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Specifically, the draft likely will and should feature key

 reforms to foster an investor-friendly legal system, represented by strengthened information disclosure, prot

ection of investors’ rights and interests, and crackdown on legal breaches, Liu said.

China must promote the healthy development of the capital m

arket through key institutional innovations, the Political Bureau of the Communist Part

y of China Central Committee, the Party’s core leadership, said a statement released after a meeting on Friday.

Dong said the revised law is likely to be adopted by the end of the first half of the ye

ar, adding it is imperative and possible to expedite rolling out the revised version.

“Previously, controversies over the registration-based IPO system reform ha

ve prolonged the revision process, but now this factor has been largely lifted,” he said.

“As foreign investors are set to play a bigger role in China’s capital

market development, the revised law should also consider clarifying the rights and oblig

ations of overseas investors, to help them form a stable policy expectation,” said Xue Yi, an associate p

jsLongsun.com

The first draft also improved rules on developing a m

ulti-layer capital market system, strengthening investor p

rotection, promoting securities industry innovations and enhancing regulation.

New revisions were submitted for a second reading in April 2017 to

improve regulation on such areas as stock trading, acquisitions of listed firms, information disclos

ure and investor protection. The second draft also demanded the State Council to gradually advance the IPO syst

em reform in accordance with authorization granted by the top legislature.

Note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language “Commentaries on International Affairs”.

On Thursday, the World Trade Organization (WTO) release

d a panel report on the case the United States lodged in December 2016 against China for its

use of tariff-rate quotas for wheat, rice, and corn. The WTO panel ruled that China’s administration of tariff-rate quo

tas violated its commitment to administer them transparently, while rejecting

the appeal by the American side which demanded that China release the information on tariff-rate quotas.

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All these questions need answers. The draft amendment

comes in time because, if passed, it will provide better regulations of the gene-editing activities over embryos.

Besides, the draft law did not list clearly the definition of gene-edited em

bryos. Technically speaking, if a fertilized egg is genetically edited and grows into an embr

yo, the total process should be considered gene-editing of embryo and put under the regulation of the law.

Zhang Dake, an associate researcher at Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

In the past, “health rights” mainly referred to the right to stay healthy and free from injuries. T

he draft amendment this time follows the latest progresses in genetic technologies by extending its defin

ition to cover genetic resources, and will be a guiding principle for relevant disputes in the future.

More importantly, the civil code is a guiding law for all laws in the ci

vil sector. If the draft amendment passes, more related laws, regulations as well as sta

ndards will be amended or drafted in the future, which is a major progress in legislation.

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The eastern area and central China region are accele

rating the push for economic upgrading, which offers strong impetus for the growth. Despite the pressure, we still can see gr

owth momentum,” Zhang said during a macroeconomic seminar earlier this month in Beijing.

“Recently, the government has introduced a series of su

pportive policies which will gradually help grow the real economy,” Zhang added.

NDRC said a further 3.24 million new urban jobs were added in t

he first quarter, with surveyed unemployment ra

te remaining at a comparatively low level of 5.2 percent in March. And consu

mer prices registered a moderate rise of 1.8 percent in the first three months of this year.

A basic equilibrium in the balance of payments was maintai

ned, and China’s foreign exchange reserves exceeded $3 trillion, Yuan added.

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Beijing News also reported that the facility caught fir

 before the explosion. The facility is adjacent to a

natural gas station, the explosion of which caused the tragedy, the report said.

An assessment report on the factory’s environmental protection

facilities drafted in July 2018 by the Jiangsu Provin

cial Academy of Environmental Science showed that Tianjiayi has a warehouse wit

h a floor area of more than 1,000 square meters to store industrial waste, which includes tar and methyl alcohol.

The assessment report said the plant generated on average about 11 metric tons of solid waste and w

aste­water per day, and there has been an accumulation of 4,500 tons of hazardous waste in the factory every

year. While some of the waste materials are transported out for disposal, others are processed within the factory.

A special license is required to dispose of hazardous waste in China. Accor

ding to the Jiangsu’s Department of Ecology and Environment, 460 enterprises in the prov

ince had the necessary licenses as of the end of 2018, but Tianjiayi was not among them.

Official records also show that Tianjiayi had been punished at least twice for violations in waste management.

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