hina and the United States will hold their eighth round of high-level economic and trade cons

ultations in Beijing on Friday, with “much work” remaining to be done, the Ministry of Commerce said.

Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday that the two nations have made some progre

ss through recent phone discussions between Vice-Premier Liu He and US Trade Representative Robert Ligh

thizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “But there remains much work to be done,” he said.

To iron out differences over certain economic and trade issues, China and the US have b

een intensifying their consultations. Next week, Liu will visit Washington for the ninth round of talks.

Negotiators from both sides are striving to implement consensuses reached betw

een the countries’ leaders in December, Gao said at a regular news conference.

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 said. “This is not only beneficial to the two countries and their peoples, but also conducive to the entire world.”

The words came as the US Department of Commerce reported that the US trade deficit with China narrowed by 6.4 perce

nt to $34.5 billion in January. US goods exports to China dropped 22.3 percent to $7.1 billion, the lowest since Sep

tember 2010, and Chinese imports dropped 9.6 percent to $41.6 billion, the Commerce Department said.

The trade imbalance has been at the center of monthslong tensions between China and the US. Other iss

ues at the top of the list for their consultations include technology transfers and protection of intellectual property rights.

Gao said guaranteeing that companies can pursue technical cooperation based on voluntary principles and business rules is cond

ucive to creating a fair and competitive business environment and promoting high-quality economic development.

“It is in line with China’s need to further deepen reform and opening up,” he said.

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Cooperation at the ministry’s Office for International Military Cooperation, said that comp

ared with other branches of the military, the PLA Navy plays a relatively larger role in protecting China’s overseas inter

ests and maintaining security in key sea lanes such as the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia.

“The PLA Navy is at the forefront of proving that the Chinese milita

ry is an open, cooperative and competent force for peace,” he said, adding that the PLA Navy has f

requently participated in humanitarian rescue missions, naval escorts, joint exercises and exchanges in past years.

“Through these non-war military operations, the Chinese Navy has also improved its capability and operability in dis

tant waters,” Zhou said. “Many security issues around the world require global efforts, and as its capability impr

oves, the PLA Navy can play a bigger part and contribute more to global maritime security.”

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rucial to getting the agreement through said it would reject the deal again.

Britain was supposed to leave the bloc on Friday but Brussels agreed last week to put back the

divorce date until April 12 to give it a chance to resolve a three-year crisis that has split the country down the middle.

However, it still remains uncertain how, when or even whether the United Kingdom, the wo

rld’s fifth-biggest economy, will leave the EU. The possibilities that it will leave with no deal to so

ften the shock to its economy, or delay the departure date to hold a general election, have increased as other options fade.

While May’s deal continued to stumble, an attempt by parliament to take control of the proc

ess by holding a series of indicative votes on other options produced no immediate way through the impasse.

None of the proposals, many of which involved closer alignmen

t with the EU than May envisages, won the support of a majority of lawmakers.

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ons has voted against remaining in the EU and every version of leaving the EU,” tweeted James Cleverly, the Conservative Party’s deputy chairman.

Nevertheless, some proposals fared better than May’s deal had done two weeks ago, and parlia

ment was due to hold more indicative votes on Monday after refining the options most likely to secure a majority.

Many Conservative eurosceptics had made clear they would only c

onsider supporting May’s deal if she gave a firm commitment to resign, hoping a new leader

would be more sympathetic to their views when negotiating the terms of Britain’s future relationship with the EU.

“I have heard very clearly the mood of the parliamentary party,” May told a meeting of Conservative lawmakers (MPs).

“I know there is a desire for a new approach – and new lead

ership – in the second phase of the Brexit negotiations – and I won’t stand in the way of that.”

But within hours of May’s offer, the Democratic Unionist Party, which props up her minority gov

ernment, said it would vote against the deal if May brought it back a third time.

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a different pair of shoes for the surface. I was overwhelmed, in an embarrassing way.”

Li played the final match of her stellar career at Wimbledon 2014 before retiring due to a chronic knee injury two months later.

Now enjoying life as a housewife and businesswoman, the two-time Grand Slam singles champion spares no effort to en

sure that China’s new generation of players are better prepared than she was for life as a pro.

Her passion for the sport remains undiminished and shone through at Tuesday’s event at Beijing’s

1123 Junior Tennis Academy, where the 37-year-old hit shots with some young hopefuls and shared insights about life on the tour.

With more international tournaments visiting the country and strong government support and investment, tenni

s has entered the athletic mainstream in China, yet the nation still hasn’t found anyone to assume Li’s throne.

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netizens in 2018 and the internet penetration rate was 93.7 percent, according to a report published on Tuesday.

The report was jointly published by the youth rights and interests protection departme

nt of the Communist Youth League of China Central Committee and the China Internet Network Information Center.

Minor netizens covered by the report are students at different levels under 18 years, but not including children under 6 years and non-student youths.

According to the report, 92 percent of minor netizens use mobile phones for internet ac

cess, and the percentages of minors using other devices for internet access are all less than 50 percent.

The report shows that 77.6 percent of minor netizens have their own internet access devices, and 69.7 percent have mobi

le phones. Data shows 52.2 percent connected to the internet less than one hour a day, and 24.2 percent between 1 and 2 hours.

Up to 87.4 percent use the internet for study, 68.1 percent listen to mus

ic and 64.2 percent play games for major leisure and recreational activities on the intern

et. Chatting online is the major communication activity for 58.9 percent, and 40.5 percent use short video apps, according to the report.

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later this week and was working to build support for the deal, which sets out the terms of withdrawing from the EU and the outline of future relations with the bloc.

May warned opponents that continuing to reject the deal could lead to a “slow Brexit” that postpones the country’s departure indefinitely.

With the March 29 Brexit day set almost two years ago days away and the withdr

awaal agreement lacking Parliament’s approval, European leaders agreed to a postponement last week to avoid a ch

aotic cliff-edge departure that would be disruptive for the world’s biggest trading bloc and deeply damaging for Britain.

However, the EU granted a shorter delay than May sought. It said if Parliament approves

the proposed divorce deal, the UK would leave the EU on May 22. If not, the government has until April 12 to tell the

27 remaining EU countries what it plans to do – leave without a deal, cancel Brexit or chart a path to a new option.

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 minister’s post as the price of winning support for the deal.

At a meeting Sunday at the prime minister’s country retreat, Chequers,

prominent Brexiteers told May they might back the deal — if she agreed to step d

own so a new leader could take charge of the next phase of negotiations, which will

settle Britain’s future relations with the EU.

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who attended the meeting and is likely to be a conten

der in any future Conservative leadership race, accused the government

of lacking “gumption” and chickening out on delivering Brexit.

Britaina’s best-selling newspaper, The Sun, put a call on its front page for the

prime minister to resign under the headline “Time’s up, Theresa.”

May is hanging on, hoping she can persuade Brexit-backing lawmakers that

rejecting her deal means Britain may never leave the EU.

She told lawmakers that Britain would not leave the EU without a deal unless

Parliament — which has already rejected the idea — voted for it.

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 trade and facilitate investment, continue to enhance communication on major global issues, help push reform of the Worl

d Trade Organization, fight climate change, safeguard global governance and jointly uphold multilateralism, Xi said.

Conte called Xi’s visit to Italy highly significant, and said it would bring the bilateral relationship to a higher level.

He said Italy firmly supports multilateralism and free trade, and his country would like to enhance commu

nication and coordination with China to promote the healthy and stable development of EU-China relations.

During his Italy visit, Xi also had separate meetings with Itali

an Chamber of Deputies member Roberto Fico and Italian Senate President Maria Elisabetta Alb

erti Casellati, and pledged to strengthen legislative exchanges and cooperation between the two sides.

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