Countries strive to replicate historic Silk Road’s world-changi

China would like to make joint efforts with Italy to revive the ancient Silk Road and bring more benefits for the people, President Xi Jinping said on Friday.

Xi made the remark while speaking to the media with Italian President Sergio Mattarella

in Rome. Xi left Beijing on Thursday for state visits to Italy, Monaco and France. His trip will conclude on Tuesday.

The ancient Silk Road boosted interconnectivity between Asia and Europe, and it encouraged exchanges between civilizations, Xi said.

Xi told reporters that his discussion with Mattarella was fruitful and the two leaders reached a wide range of consensuses.

China and Italy should connect their developmental strategies and enhance cooperation in such areas as infra

structure, seaports, logistics and maritime transport while promoting practical cooperation under the Belt and Road, Xi said.

China would like to increase trade and investment with Italy, Xi said, adding that Ita

ly is welcome at the second China International Import Expo as an honored guest. China would like to import more prod

ucts of high quality from Italy, and more domestic companies are being encouraged to invest in Italy, he said.

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Our moves to cut tax on this occasion aim at an accommo

dative effect to strengthen the basis for sustained growth while also considering the need to ensu

re fiscal sustainability. It is a major decision taken at the macro policy level in support of the efforts to en

sure stable economic growth, employment, and structural adjustments,” Li said in the report.

Value-added tax-a major type of corporate tax der

ived from the sale of goods and services-reductions will benefit most of the companies, said Yang We

iyong, an associate professor at the Beijing-based University of International Business and Economics.

“The VAT reductions can effectively lighten the tax burden of en

terprises, thereby increasing the investment by ent

erprises, boosting demand and improving the economic structure,” Yang added.

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Volunteers inundate blood donation center near explosion site

After an explosion at a chemical plant killed 47, residents of Xiangshui county in Ji

angsu province have flooded centers to donate bolod for the severely injured survivors.

There were so many people coming in to donate blood that the organ

izers at one center ran out of application forms, China Daily discovered Friday afternoon.

“On average, people have to wait for at least five hours for their turn,” said Meng Xiangh

ua, a member of the local labor union that has been assisting in the drive to build up blood supplies following the blast.

He said one of his neighbors came in at 8 am Friday and had to wait until 1:30 pm to d

onate. “There are so many people coming that we failed to count how many people have donated so far,” he added.

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The welder spent another three hours on Friday morning but

had to quit again as he had to pick up his son from primary school at noon. He joined the line again

after lunch, but he didn’t have any idea about when his turn will come when

China Daily interviewed him at 4:30 pm.

There were so many donators that the organizers brought dozens of stools to

the site so that people could rest after waiting a long time.

Many people also came to Xiangshui

People’s Hospital to offer free food and medicine fo

r those hospitalized. Chen Yueru, a member of local volunteer association, said they have received 2,177 boxes of packed

food for lunch, more than 10,000 bottles of water, 24 boxes of ham sausage and 14

boxes of instant noodle and 500 breads at the hospital.

She said clothes are in demand for many of the injured as the belongings of many

have been buried in debris and stained with blood and dirt.

Gao, the red society volunteer, said a company has donated about 600 bottles of a s

pecial medicine for wound sterilization and has also sent medicine for the injured.

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year-old woman arrested after elementary school student

  Swiss police have arrested a 75-year-old woman in connection with the fatal stabbing of a seven-year-old boy on his way home from school.

  The child, who has not been named, was attacked while walking alone in the north

ern city of Basel around midday local time on Thursday, police said in a statement.

  The boy’s class teacher, who was passing on a bicycle, found him lying seriously injured on the sidewalk and call

ed for an ambulance. The boy died shortly after emergency surgery in hospital, the statement added.

  Soon after the stabbing, a 75-year-old woman turned herself in to the police. She admitt

ed attacking the boy and was arrested, police said, but did not explain the motive for the attack.

  Police said investigations were continuing and appealed for witnesses.

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Explosive device found in Ireland appears similar to thos

  A “viable improvised explosive device” contained in a plastic envelope was found in

a postal collection center in Limerick, western Ireland, the Irish police said in a statement.

  Police were alerted to a suspicious item shortly after 6 a.m. local time on Friday, authorities said in an earlier statem

ent. The army’s bomb disposal team arrived at the An Post’s collection center at 9:50 a.m. local time, where the package was found.

  ”On arrival a cordon was established and the building was evacuated for the duration of the operation. A viable impr

ovised explosive device contained in a plastic envelope was identified and made safe,” the Irish police statement said.

  London’s Metropolitan Police is cooperating with the Irish police on these investigations, both forces

said in separate statements on Friday. group calling itself the IRA previously claimed responsibility for sending five packages cont

aining improvised explosive devices to the UK earlier in March, but British police said they had only recovered four.

  On March 5, three devices were sent to major London transport hubs — Waterloo Stati

on and offices at Heathrow and City Airports — in what police said appeared to be part of a “linked series.”

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Xi added that he is glad that US President Donald Trump

also voiced his support for bilateral exchanges and cooperation in education during their meeting at the G20 Summit in Argentina in December.

The rising level of education has been a major contributor to

China’s rapid development in its 40 years of reform and opening-up, he said.

China remains committed to advancing the modernization of its education, making

itself an education powerhouse and developing education that people are satisfied with, he added.

During this process, China is willing to conduct broader exchanges and cooper

ation with education and research institutions including Harvard University, he said.

Bacow, who last year became the 29th president of Harvard U

niversity, said he is glad to make China his first overseas stop since his inauguration.

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talian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said he may sig

  a series of memorandums of understanding on Belt and Road infrastructure investments during Xi’s upcoming visit to Italy, Reuters reported. If the

y are signed, Italy would be the first one of the Group of Seven industrialized nations to participate in the BRI.

  Speaking at a news conference in Beijing on Wednesday, Vice-Foreign Mi

nister Wang Chao said the country appreciates Italy’s active involvement in the BRI.

  ”We believe the signing of relevant cooperation documents conforms to the common interests of both countries,” Wa

ng said, adding that Belt and Road cooperation aims to generate mutually beneficial and win-win results.

  Regarding skepticism about the BRI, Wang said practice will prove that the initia

tive will have positive effects on countries’ economic development and bilateral cooperation.

  He added that the infrastructure investment of Chinese companies in Europe is purely business practice and will ab

ide by market rules and business principles on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and transparency.

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Tax cuts on the way as steps taken at meetingplement a g

China will implement a group of measures to cut value-added ta

x rates, ensuring that the tax burden on all industries will only go down, according to a

decision made by the State Council’s executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

The Government Work Report this year set out a plan for l

arger tax cuts, including lowering the VAT rate in manufacturing and other industries from 16 t

o 13 percent and the VAT rate in transportation, construction and other industries from 10 to 9 percent.

A number of concrete measures were decided upon at the

Wednesday meeting to achieve the targets, which will be enacted on April 1.

Input VAT eligible for deduction will be expanded and will cove

r passenger transportation services. Taxpayers will be able to get their input tax on real esta

te payments deducted in full on a one-time basis, instead of on two occasions in two years.

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May’s spokesman said Tusk’s comments were in keepi

  ing with her request for a short delay.She herself told a rowdy session of parliament that she c

ould not countenance the prospect of a long delay – which could give time for notional alter

native approaches to emerge, but would infuriate Brexit supporters in her own party.

  ”As prime minister, I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than the 30th of June,” she said.

  May said she planned to ask parliament to vote a third time on her departure

deal, which lawmakers have voted down twice. She did not say when the vote would happen.

  ”RATIFY OR EXIT”

  If May cannot win over enough reluctant lawmakers to pass her deal next week, Britain faces the choice of reque

sting a longer delay or leaving the EU as planned on March 29 – without a deal to cushion the economic upheaval.

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