The move followed a State Council decision in April to es

The move followed a State Council decision in April to es

tablish a policy framework for applying a fairly low RRR for small and medium-

sized banks in a bid to lower financing costs for MSEs.

Home prices in 70 major Chinese cities continued to stabilize despite slight increases in April, official data showed Thursday.

New home prices in four first-tier cities — Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou — increased 0.6 percent month

on month in April, up from the 0.2-percent increase in March, said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in a statement.

New home prices climbed 0.8 percent in 31 second-tier cities, and rose 0.5 percent in 35 third-tier cities.

As for resold homes, prices in the four first-tier cities reported a 0.4-percent growth mo

nth on month, while those in 31 second-tier cities went up 0.6 percent, narrowing from the 1.2-percent increase in March.

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Xi calls for co-existence of various civilizationselivered a key

President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening of the Conference on Dialogue of Asia

n Civilizations. With the theme of “Exchanges and mutual learning among Asian civilizations and a com

munity with a shared future,” the conference aims to deepen cooperation among Asian countries. Here are the highlights:

Humanity needs cultural strength to address challenges ahead

Humanity needs cultural strength, besides economic and techn

ological strength, to cope with common challenges and head toward a bright future.

The intensifying global challenges humanity is facing now require concerted effort from countries across the world.

Asian civilizations write ‘brilliant chapter’ in human civilization

Asian civilizations have written a brilliant chapter in human civilization.

Being one of the earliest human settlements and a major birthp

lace of human civilization, Asia takes up one third of the total land on Earth, has two th

irds of the global population, and consists of 47 countries and more than 1,000 ethnic groups.

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Fretting about weight has become a common topic for

discussion among Chinese women-and not just at the office. Such discussions can be heard

everywhere, from high school classrooms to fitness studios, beauty salons and department stores.

But the issue is not just cause for concern in China. Obsessing over body shape has also emerged in Western countries over the past decade.

The term “fat talk” was coined by United States anthropologist Mimi Nic

hter and her team of researchers in 1994 after they observed the way girls in middle school

spoke about their body shapes-unexpectedly revealing that they invariably focused on the negatives.

Since then, numerous studies have detailed how pervasive “fat talk” has become among women of all ages.

A study published in the Psychology of Women Quarterly in 2011 found that an “overwhelm

ing majority of women”-93 percent-admitted to discussing the issue, with one-third of them doing so frequently.

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He says that he collected 39 different versions of Beethov

So far, the pianist has performed all of the 32 Beethoven sonatas more than 50 times.

During the China tour, Buchbinder will also be the conductor besides his role as a soloist.

Founded by Prince Elector Moritz von Sachsen in 1548, the Staat

skapelle Dresden is one of the oldest orchestras in the world and steeped in tradition.

In 2018, Staatskapelle Dresden, which celebrated its 470th anniver

sary, toured China, and it was the seventh cooperation betw

een the orchestra and Wu Promotion, China’s leading music tour promoter, since 2011.

Presenting pieces of German composer, Robert Schumann, the tour attracted nearly 7,000 music fans.

“China has great audiences who are passionate about classical music. There ar

e also many great symphony orchestras in the country, some of which are over 100 years old,” says Buchbinder.

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market confidence in outstanding ways and promoted the stab

le growth of the economy, he said, adding that the positive factors for economic growth are increasing.

Noting that the uncertainties in the global economic environment are also rising and there remai

n downward pressures on the domestic economy, Li called for both attention and confidence from the entrepreneurs.

Related departments should follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Though

t on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, invigorate the market thro

ugh deepening reform and opening-up and ensure the stable growth of the economy, Li said.

He said that tax reduction is the key to improving the business environm

ent and invigorating the market, which will not only stabilize growth and employment bu

t also encourage companies to invest more in innovation for long-term development.

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Balancing growth with structural reformting perform

After a disappointing performance in 2018, China’s economy appears to be stabiliz

ing. In the first quarter of 2019, GDP growth, at 6.4 percent year-on-year, matched that of the previous quarter. But grow

th in industrial production exceeded expectations, expanding by 6.5 percent year-on-year (and by 8.5 percent in Mar

ch). Even exports growth was positive, albeit weak, despite the ongoing trade frictions with the United States.

Moreover, fixed-asset investment (FAI) grew by 6.3 percent-0.2 percentage points higher than in the previous quar

ter. Investment in real estate grew the fastest (11.8 percent), followed by manufacturing (4.6 percent) and in

frastructure (4.4 percent). The growth of investment both in real estate and infrastru

cture was stronger not only sequentially, but also year-on-year. As usual, consumption growth was stable.

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Faster checks for inbound pets in placegs, cats to got

No need for dogs, cats to go through quarantine if they meet set conditions

Pets owners no longer need to be separated from their beloved dogs or cats when they ar

rive in China from overseas if they meet certain conditions, under a regulation that took effect on May 1.

Dogs or cats with valid electronic chips arriving from 19 designated c

ountries or regions no longer have to undergo weeklong quarantines if they pass on-site inspe

ctions at ports of entry, according to the regulation released by the General Administration of Customs earlier this year.

The designated countries and regions are New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hawaii and Guam of the Unite

d States, Jamaica, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Cyprus, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, J

apan and Singapore, as well as China’s Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.

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The 20-year-old said she first learned about the history

The volunteer team-led by Wu Liangliang, a security guard who has gained online fame for his fluent self-taught En

glish-has also been part of the site’s efforts to provide a more personal management style, in addition to the city go

vernment’s introduction of various measures, including a mobile app, to help tourists.

Larry Goodrich, from Seattle, who has been traveling with his wife

in the Yangtze River Delta for three weeks, lauded the volunteers’ contributions.

Having worked in the computer industry since “the era of brick-si

zed cellphones”, the 65-year-old said that while technology has provided unimaginable con

venience, traveling is about being a part of the destination and interacting with local residents.

“The human connection is always better,” said Goodrich.

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teps aimed at helping further develop countryside opt

hina will undertake key measures to further integrate the country’s rural and urban areas

and encourage the transfer and free flow of people and resources throughout the nation.

Measures include relaxing hukou (household registration) barri

ers, reforming zoning regulations for rural and residential land, marketing collective land

in rural areas for development purposes and increasing infrastructure spending in the countryside.

Experts said the new plan, announced by the Communist Party of China Ce

ntral Committee and the State Council late on Sunday, is aimed at helping realize steady progr

ess in rural revitalization, driving up the process of urbanization and further boosting the economy.

China has a three-step plan. First, it will initially build a framework an

d mechanism for integrated development of urban and rural areas, and gradually rem

ove limits on hukou registration in cities by 2022. Second, it will bring about an improved framewo

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Boosting rural areas will help solve dilemmas of ove

rcrowding and rampant construction plaguing cities, and the development of cities will also offer unique ways to bring about rural revitalization,” Chen said.

“As restrictions on hukou will gradually be removed, cities need to be well-prepared to offer

accommodation and employment opportunities, and allow children of migrant workers to have equal access to education,” Chen added.

China has made steady progress in urbanization, as the ranks of permanent urban r

esidents stood at 831 million at the end of 2018, up 17.9 million from the previous year, said the National Bureau of Statistics.

Last month, the National Development and Reform Commission said it

plans to increase the urbanization rate by at least 1 percentage point by the end of this year.

Shen Chi, vice-director of the China Center for Urban Development, said the government’s new

plan will help foster high-quality and sustainable economic development across the nation.

“Relaxing the hukou policy will be a key step in promoting the free flow of labor across

the nation,” Shen said. “A systematic consideration and arrangement of the integratio

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