China’s customs officers have seized 2,748 ivory tusks weighing a combined 7.48 metric tons after cracking a major smuggling case.
It was the biggest haul of tusks ever recorded in an anti-smuggling bust conducted in
dependently by customs officers, the General Administration of Customs said on Monday.
The case was solved in March after a combined operation of differ
ent customs offices lasting three months. A total of 238 custo
ms officers took part from cities around the country, including Hefei, Nanjing, Beijing, Fuzhou and Qingdao.
Twenty suspects were detained for further investigation, accor
ding to Sun Zhijie, director of the administration’s anti-smuggling bureau.
Sun said the tusks, illegally shipped from African countries, were imported into China labeled as wood.
hinese sales of passenger vehicles, MPVs, SUVs and minivans in March dropped 12 percent on a yearly basis to 1.78 million units.
This is the 10th consecutive monthly decrease, according to the C
hina Passenger Car Association (CPCA), Changjiang Times reported.
The MPV sector saw the largest sales decline, 20.2 percent to 130,000 units in the pas
t month, while SUVs and sedans dropped 10.7 and 12 percent, respectively.
The decreases in 2019’s first quarter are mild compared with those at the end of the last year, CPCA said.
As the State-VI emission standards will be implemented from July 1 this
year, some Japanese brands have launched corresponding products ahead of their co
unterparts, and performed well in sales and consumer confidence, CPCA said.
“Automobile sales in North China, and those in the county and township level, are still weak,” the association added.
better deal with the relationship between ‘capital’ and ‘city’, which is to strengthen the four funct
ions of Beijing — the national center of politics, culture, international communications and scient
ific innovation,” said Cai Qi, Party secretary of Beijing, last month during the two sessions.
According to the municipal authority, the new economy — industries with intensive innovation a
nd knowledge — now makes up 33 percent of the city’s economy, and this ratio is expected to keep growing.
President Xi Jinping’s three-nation visit to Europe last month prod
uced tangible fruits and showed that despite any differences that may exist between China and
the European Union, they have the common desire to strengthen cooperation.
Thanks to mutual efforts from both sides, China-EU interaction has been displaying good momentum. Over the years, their economic
interests have become increasingly intertwined, and people-to-people exchanges have flourished, formin
g a solid foundation on which bilateral ties have been able to grow and prosper in an all-around way.
Rising registrations and better technology improve prospects of quicker availability
When Zhao Xueming, a middle school math teacher in Beij
ing, knew he had late-stage liver cancer in February last year, he felt despair.
“I was scared to the soul, and I thought about death every day,” he said.
By then, Zhao, who was 36 at the time, had received various treatme
nts at Beijing Tsinghua Changgung Hospital for four months. However, he believed he had s
ome other liver disease, since his parents, in order to avoid frightening him, never told him the truth.
“The treatments didn’t work well,” he said. “At l
Zhao was lucky. He waited for just around two weeks for an available organ, which was distributed through a national compu
terized organ sharing system, and had an operation that lasted for more than 10 hours in March last year.
He later learned that the organ donor was a young person who died in a car accident
in Hubei province, more than 1,000 kilometers away, but he doesn’t know further details.
In March, a year after the surgery, Zhao enrolled to become an organ dono
r at an organ-donation promotional event held at Beijing Tsinghua Changgung Hospital.
ast my doctor decided to have a liver transplant surgery for me to save my life.”
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
of subforums, such as the ASEAN-China Governors/Mayors Dialogue, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Island Economy subforum, the South China Sea subfo
rum, the Roundtable Discussion for Overseas Chinese Business Leaders and Chinese think tanks, Wang said. “These diplo
matic platforms serve as new bridges to promote practical industrial cooperation between BRI countries.”
Activities at the Boao forum this year will highlight land and sea interconnectivity between BRI count
ries. Invitations will be sent to overseas participants to share in building a pilot free trade zone in Hainan.
Hong Kong youth groups will be invited to Hainan to see space satellite launch facilities, deep-sea science
and technology, seed breeding and other fields. Invitations will be extended to young people from ASEAN countries, Lan
cang-Mekong river nations and BRI countries to promote people-to-people understanding, Wang said.
“Hainan will ensure that the Boao Forum for Asia continues to promote greater coope
ration in healthcare, tourism, education, technology, tropical agriculture and the seed industry,” Wang said.
development in China, and the EU welcomes China’s willingness to share its development opportunities.
Chinese enterprises are welcome to invest in European countries, said the European leaders, adding that they will not adopt restrictive measures against specific com
panies, and are willing to provide a fair, open and transparent business environment for all foreign enterprises.
During the visit, Peng Liyuan, Xi’s wife, also attended a number of events aimed at deepeni
ng cultural and educational exchanges between China and the European nations.
As a special envoy of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the advanceme
nt of girls’ and women’s education, Peng was invited to visit the headquarters of the UNESCO in Paris.
Wang said Peng’s visit highlighted China’s image of a hardworking, responsible maj
or country that actively participates in international education, gender equality and other affairs.
It’s very likely that any consensus that could be reached across the Commons would be a softer Brexit than the one May is currently pursuing.
That, I am afraid, is still a fairly open-ended answer. It might mean the need to renegotiate, which would mean a longer exten
sion, which would mean being in the EU elections, which could mean a second referendum, ultimately.
The key point here is that cross-party consensus might soun
d nice, but on an issue as divisive as Brexit, it’s as likely as anything to blow up both main parties.
While things are far from rosy and three weeks is not enough t
ime to sort much, it’s worth noting that while Brexit might not be going terribly well, the last thr
ee years have been a huge learning curve for the entire UK. We know more now than we did.
So while the next bit of the Brexit process might look crunchy, the decisions made in the coming days will not be made lightly.