The meeting highlighted the importance of implementi

ting the spirit of December’s Central Economic Work Conference.

Macro policies should be stable, micro policies should be flexible and social policies should guarantee the basic needs of the grassroots

people, the statement said. Macro policies should focus on promoting high-quality growth and stimulating market vitality.

The importance of manufacturing’s high-quality development in stabilizing economic growt

h was stressed. Traditional industries should be guided to upgrade, and new industries should grow stronger.

The development of small and medium-sized companies and private businesses should be supported through measures like s

peeding up the supply-side structural reform of finance and providing better loan services, the stat

ement said. It also reaffirmed that houses should be used for living rather than for profit.

Reform should be further deepened and opening-up boosted, and forei

gn capital should have bigger access to the Chinese market. Poverty reduction is a key meas

ure of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, which must be achieved by the end of next y

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Remaining poverty alleviation tasks are quite arduou

s, and government departments must make continuous efforts to ensure tasks are completed. Off

icials of poverty-stricken counties must keep a close eye on problems to ensure people can escape poverty.

The Party’s publicity work was also discussed. It’s the top political task to learn and publi

cize Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the statement said. A

ll Party committees must pay great attention to publicity work and ensure the implementation of regulations.

A draft amendment to the Securities Law was submitted Saturday to a bimonthly session of

the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, China’s top legislature, for a third reading.

The latest revisions to the law include rules on the newly-devised science and technol

ogy innovation board, which will pilot a registration-based initial public offering (IPO) system.

Under the current IPO system, new shares are subject to approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission before being listed.

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China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and latest nuc

More than 60 countries will send delegations to join multinational naval events marking the anniv

ersary, and over 30 countries of them will send major navy leaders to participate, according to Qiu.

Nearly 20 foreign vessels of various capabilities, including destroyers, frigates and landing ships, will join Chinese vessels in the naval parade, sh

owing to the world the “firm determination to safeguard peace and seek development with joint efforts,” Qiu said.

Organizing multinational naval parades is a unique ceremonial activity of navies, according to Qiu.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy has been active in provi

ding security products for the international community since its founding, Qiu said.

The navy has paid over 100 visits to 94 countries and 138 ports, and has held more

than 60 joint military drills with foreign navies over the 70 years, according to Qiu.

Since 2008, the navy has sent 32 escort fleets, 103 vessels, 69 helicopters and more than 27,000 offic

ers and soldiers to escort over 6,600 vessels, more than a half of which were foreign merchant ships, he added.

Since 2010, the naval hospital ship Peace Ark has traveled to 43 countr

ies and regions and provided free medical services to over 230,000 people, Qiu said.

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Thanks to the integration of its online-and-offline bus

inesses, McMillon said brick-and-mortar stores have become hybrid, and forward fulfillment centers.

He said Sam’s Club has been gaining strength in the country. The high-end m

embership store that was launched in China in 1996 has about 2 million members nati

onwide. By 2020, there will be 40 such clubs either in operation or in construction in the country. The format ha

s 23 stores currently in 19 cities stocking quality fresh food and membership products.

Globally Walmart has 11,300 stores, with a third of them large stores.

According to Kantar Worldpanel, in 2018 Walmart’s market share was 5.4 percent, an improvement from t

he 5.2 percent in 2017. Last year it opened 33 new stores, including 21 hypermarkets, four Sam‘s Club and eight compact stores.

Jason Yu, general manager of Kantar Worldpanel China, said Walmart has to roll out

more innovations to further improve its operational efficiency and achieve growth through

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The economy has stayed on the track of steady gro

owth. We have the confidence, conditions and capability to mee

t the projected targets for economic and social deve

lopment this year,” Yuan told an NDRC news conference on Thursday in Beijing.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed China’s economy grew at a faster-than-e

xpected 6.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, remaining at the to

p end of the government’s projected growth range of 6 to 6.5 percent for this year.

The growth was unchanged from that in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Zhang Chenghui, former director at the finan

cial research institute of Development Research Center of the State Cou

ncil, said despite the downward growth pressure, China will see many positive factors in the economy this year.

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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.

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Paris fire sends alarm on relics protectionhedral in Pa

An inferno that destroyed the spire and a large portion of the wooden roof structure of the 12th-century Notre Dame Cathedral in Pa

ris on Monday reinforced a cautionary message to Chinese authorities about the need to better protect vulnerable heritage sites.

The National Cultural Heritage Administration held a staff meeting on Tuesday night at wh

ich officials discussed the Paris fire and six major fires that have taken place at Chinese cultural heritage sites this year.

“The fire at Notre Dame in Paris rang the warning bell for us,” Song Xi

nchao, deputy director of the administration, said in an interview on Tuesday.

“The safety of cultural heritage sites is a red line that can never be crossed. It’s a global issue,” he said.

The six fires were in Sichuan, Fujian, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang provinces, officials said.

On Jan 6, a hall at Yunyan Temple in Jiangyou, Sichuan province, burned down. On

Feb 2, a wooden family temple from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in Nanchang, Jiangxi, was destroyed by fire.

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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.

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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.

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Fiscal spending can directly influence fixed-asset inves

tment, and it could also leverage on more bank lending and attract private funds to increase investment, said Xu.

In the meantime, allowing retail access to local government bonds will help diversify the

investor base and increase market liquidity, said Amanda Du, an analyst at Moody’s Investors Service.

The analyst expected access for retail investors to widen to encompass all local government bonds in 2020.

hina’s economy grew at a faster-than-expected 6.4 percent year-on-year in the first qua

rter, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.

The growth was unchanged from that registered in the fourth quarter of last year.

The country’s industrial output posted steady growth in the same period, up by 6.5 percent

year-on-year, compared with 5.7 percent in the previous quarter, official data showed.

Fixed-asset investment growth was 6.3 percent in the first quarte

r, compared with 6.1 percent in the first two months, according to the NBS.

Retail sales increased by 8.3 percent year-on-year in the same pe

riod, compared with 8.2 percent in the first two months, the data showed.

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