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.

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 reports that India decided not to send a delegation to the second Belt and Road Forum for Internati

onal Cooperation later this month in Beijing. The reports said the initiative undermines the South Asia

n nation’s sovereignty via the BRI-related China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Lu said that, “If this decision about whether to participate in building the Belt and Road

was possibly made through a misunderstanding”, China firmly and sincerely advances the constr

uction of the Belt and Road on the basis of consultation and contribution for shared benefits.

He added that the initiative is open to all parties that are inter

ested in and willing to join in win-win cooperation.

It will not exclude any party, he said, adding that China is willin

g to wait if relevant parties need more time to consider their participation.

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 tool to search for and detect black holes of all sizes and wavelengths in the n

ext two decades,” Wu Qingwen, a professor at the School of Physics of Huazhong Uni

versity of Science and Technology in Wuhan, Hubei province, said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Event Horizon Telescope, a global array of e

ight ground-based radio telescopes, revealed the first-ever image of a black hole.

Wu was one of the more than 200 astronomers worldwi

de involved in the EHT collaboration, which captured the first vi

sible representation of what are considered the most extreme objects in the universe.

International collaboration is vital for astronomical observations, Wu said.

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ing, and the two witnessed the signing of four cooperative documents to pr

omote cooperation in tax issues, agriculture, finance and science at a signing cer

emony. A joint declaration on climate change was also released after their meeting.

Zhao Jianglin, a researcher of Asia-Pacific economic studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the visit by Ardern

will provide a timely boost to China-New Zealand relations after the dispute over the use of Chinese telecom equipment.

China has been a key trade partner with New Zealand, which could also provide important s

upport to the Belt and Road Initiative and China’s relations with countries in the South Pacific, she said.

A price cut swept China’s many sectors on Monday, as value-added tax rate reduction officially kicked in.

This year’s Government Work Report, which was released las

t month, said the rate bracket of 16 percent in manufacturing and other industries will

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 said the first consultation will be held in September when a US delegation, led by a senior official fr

om the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, is expected to visit Taipei.

The US has been using one pretext or the other to provoke Beijing and violate the 1979 Joint Commun

iqué. But for the sake of Sino-US relations and regional peace, Washington should realize that instead of gain

ing anything, it would suffer huge economic and political damage by interfering in China’s internal affairs.

Xi’s message of peace and reunification

Delivering a speech to mark the 40th anniversary of the Message to Taiwan Compatri

ots on Jan 2, President Xi Jinping said that, on the basis of the common political foundation of uph

olding the 1992 Consensus and opposing “Taiwan independence”, political parties and people across all sectio

ns of society on both sides of the Straits can recommend their representatives to hold in-depth dem

ocratic consultations and establish institutional arrangements for peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.

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tion with China on jointly building the Belt and Road, She said.

Noting that the history of Italy-China exchanges for the past 50 years has been a history of dia

logue and friendship, the speaker said the Italian Senate is willing to facilitate exchanges between the two cou

ntries’ legislative institutions, and continue to make contributions to deepening Italy-China friendly cooperation.

Xi arrived in Rome Thursday for a state visit to Italy, the first stop of his three-nation Europe tour, which will also take him to Monaco and France.

hinese authorities have unveiled detailed measures to implement valu

e-added tax reform, a key step to boost market vitality and stabilize economic growth.

Starting April 1 this year, the 16 percent VAT rate that applies to manufa

cturing and other sectors will be lowered to 13 percent, while the rate for construction, tran

sport and other sectors will be reduced from 10 percent to 9 percent, said a joint statement released on Th

ursday by the Ministry of Finance, State Taxation Administration and the General Administration of Customs.

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On Sunday, China’s tech giant Huawei officially unveiled Huawei Mate X, its first foldable smar

tphone. That came just five days after Galaxy Fold, the first foldable smartphone of Samsung. But fol

dables might not be the future of smartphones, comment two experts with China Daily’s Zhang Zhouxiang:

Yuan Xuanhua, a renowned industrial designer with 20 years’ experience in smartphone engineering

Some media outlets have described foldable smartphones with so many sweet w

ords as if they were a technological breakthrough. Unfortunately, they are not. The te

chnology of foldable displays were invented as early as 20 years ago in a quite easy way — By replacing the glass th

at supports the display with foldable organic materials. Such displays can not only fold, but also curve.

Concerning the foldable screens of Huawei and Samsung, they have better displays with higher density rate and cl

earer, more stable display performance, but in essence they are still using the same technology. Therefore, f

oldable smartphones are more like a consumption-led innovation rather than a technology

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Thailand’s Election Commission rejected Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya’s candidacy for next month’s general elec

tion on Monday. This is in keeping with the Thai tradition that says the monarchy must remain above politics.

This incident has added another twist to the election the run-up to which has been complicated.

In 2014, Thailand’s military seized control of the country after negotiations with rival political factions failed. Sub

sequently, then head of the army General Prayuth Chan-o-Cha took over as the Prime Minister. It is expected that the up

coming general election on March 24 would end the more than four-year-old rule of Prayuth’s junta.

However, originally scheduled for February, the election was postponed by one month due to King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s coronation, which led to unrest.

The military government has not done much for economic development, regardless of its con

tribution to social stability. Thus, the public hopes the election be held as soon as possible so th

at the junta can hand state power back to the people and the nation’s economy can be developed.

Hence, any news of election delay unsettles Thai people. Fortunately, one month is not too long a wait.

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China has been a major market for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) when it comes to international initial public offerings

(IPOs) over the past few years, and the trend will continue in 2019, according to the exchange.

The wholly-owned subsidiary of Intercontine

ntal Exchange finished 2018 with 125 billion U.S. dollars in proceeds raised from 356 transactions. In a year mark

d by elevated volatility in U.S. equity markets, NYSE issuers raised 30 billion dollars in proceeds from 73 IPOs, statistics showed.

A total of 25 international IPOs were executed during the year, raising 10 bi

llion dollars in proceeds, including Tencent Music Entertainment Group from C

hina, PagSeguro Digital Ltd. from Brazil, and Hudson Ltd. and Farfetch Ltd. from Britain.

A total of 18 Chinese companies raised more than 4 billion dollars in proceeds las

t year, the exchange said in its response to Xinhua’s inquiry. The compa

nies are from a variety of industries, including education, hospitality, technology, and automotive.

Alex Ibrahim, head of international capital markets at NYSE, told Xinhua that it was a “huge highlight” to have compan

ies like Tencent Music Entertainment listing on the exchange and raising over 1 billion dollars.

The IPO of Nio, a leading Chinese electric vehicle maker, also raised more than 1 b

illion dollars and was a very successful transaction, he noted. “It was super exciti

ng to see those cars in front of the exchange and in Times Square,” Ibrahim said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

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The Asian Cup of the United Arab Emirates officially kicked off in 2019. Both the opening ceremony and the opening battle ended this

morning in Beijing time. The first match of China Men’s Football Team will be held on January 7. Nevertheless,

it was learnt from the journalists ahead that the official brochure of the Asian Football Federation had made a big joke, Big Oolong! uuuuuuuuuu

Looking at this brochure carefully, even if you don’t understand Arabic, you can see at a glance that the

map of China in the upper right corner actually uses the map of the United States! This is almost an

unforgivable mistake! It is expected that the official of the Asian Cup will explain it later, even apologize.

The journalists who are familiar with Arabic are always pointing out mistakes. Although the picture uses

the portrait of Coach Lippi and the famous hostess Hao Haidong, the first point is that in the Asian Cup,

which is a national team competition, Gaolin’s image is still a picture of his club effectiveness.

In addition, the picture album gives the Chinese men’s football team this Asian Cup start forecast,

unexpectedly there are Dewey, Huang Bowen, Ren Hang’s name. Dewey and even the players of the 2011

Asian Cup, Huang Bowen and Renhang are the players of the 2015 Asian Cup. They did not participate in this competition!

The other mistake is to print the family portrait of the Korean team in the Asian Cup. At the reminder of Chinese journalists, the Asian

Football Association has retrieved some of its official brochures. It should be said that in this intercontinental tournament, even in the case

of a rehearsal by the Middle East countries for the 2022 World Cup, it is a pity that there are so many mistakes and so on.

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