The world’s second-largest economy maintained its fore

eign exchange reserves at $3.095 trillion at the end of April. The reserve amount was stable, altho

ugh it slightly retreated from $3.098 trillion at the end of March, according to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

Li Yang, director of the National Institution for Finance and Development of the Chinese Academy

of Social Sciences, said that China is unlikely to sacrifice foreign exchange reserves to de

fend its currency, even if depreciation pressure rises amid any escalation in trade tension.

In May, the offshore RMB exchange rate against the US dollar dropped more than 3 percen

t under market pressure as global investors worried about the escalation of trade friction.

Guo Shuqing, Party secretary of the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, said on Monday that higher US tariffs on Chin

a’s imports triggered financial market volatility, and this also affected the offshore RMB.

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When asked if China will stop exporting rare earth mat

aterials to the US, Gao Feng, the ministry’s spokesman, said China

has been the world’s largest supplier of rare earth materials and has always been keen to m

eet the demand of its trade partners on this material to promote the rare earth industry.

The ministry made the remarks after the Trump administration starting May 10 raised tariffs on Chinese goods and rest

ricted Huawei’s business operations, which has harmed the interests of companies and financial markets on both sides.

“While satisfying domestic demand, China is always willing to fulfill other coun

tries’ rightful needs for rare earth materials,” he said. “But if any country plans to use the rare earth materials that Ch

ina exports to make products that will suppress China’s development, it is not acceptable.”

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China’s Qomolangma climbing season runs from April 10 t

At least four deaths have been blamed on crowding during the climbs, Agence France-Presse reported.

People should be well prepared to handle Qomolangma’s traffic jams which are common phenomena along climbing paths, said alpinists who had reached the summit.

“Although the news about the jam on Qomolangma this year has gone viral, people should understand that it happens every year during the brief cl

imbing window. Knowing what to do when climbers jam the narrow paths should be incl

uded in their training well in advance,” said Ma Liyamu, who reached the top of Qomolangma, the world’s ta

llest mountain at 8,848 meters, on May 22 and was also held up by the crowds on her descent.

She is the leader of a mountaineering team of three Chinese women w

ho scaled Qomolangma. They launched their expedition from Nepal, which issued 381 cli

mbing permits for the season that concludes this week. Nepal’s permits this season cost $11,000 each.

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Ameesha Chauhan, who is in a hospital in Kathmandu

andu recovering from frostbite she contracted during crowded conditions, told AFP that cli

mbers without basic skills should be barred to prevent a recurrence of this year’s deadly season.

The 29-year-old Indian had to wait 20 minutes to come down from the peak. She saw some clim

bers without basic skills fully relying on their Sherpa guides. Officials should change the qualification cri

teria. Poorly trained climbers put their own lives at risk and also the lives of the Sherpas, Chauhan said.

Some climbers died due to their own negligen

ce. They insisted on reaching the top even when their oxygen was running out, she added.

New European Parliament reflects divided policy options

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Still, the victory of the Brexit Party could prompt the Cons

servatives to choose a new leader to campaign on a “no-deal” Brexit. But

this has little or no chance of being accepted by the British parliament, which means the B

rexit stalemate will continue until there is a general election or a second referendum. In any case, the normally pr

ofree trade voice of the UK will be reduced in the new European Parliament.

Beijing‘s first bikeway, which connects Huilongguan in Changping district and Shangdi in

Haidian district for cyclists, has finished the colored pavement and is about to open this week.

The bicycle-only road has a maximum speed of no more than 15 kilom

eters per hour and is forbidden to entry by pedestrians, electric bicycles and other vehi

cles, according to traffic rules on the bikeway released by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport.

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The strategic guiding role of national development plannin

ng should be leveraged to improve coordination mechanisms

for economic policies such as finance, currency, employment, industry, and regional develop

ment to ensure the nation’s economic development stays within a reasonable range, the statement said.

The meeting highlighted the importance of strengthening innovative cap

abilities as well as opening-up and cooperation in this regard, and called for improving the serv

ices and environment for opening-up and cooperation so that development is promoted through opening-up, inn

ovation is advanced through reforms and win-win results are achieved through cooperation, it said.

Tough and newly emerging problems should be resolved through deepening reforms, the state

ment said, adding that the capability of dealing with challenges and preventing risks should be intensified.

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ale Zhang, managing director of Shanghai-based con

nsultancy Automotive Foresight, said SEAT’s smaller cars will help its parent company to reach custo

mers in China’s smaller cities, where electric cars built on Volkswagen’s own platforms would be less affordable.

Volkswagen, as well as its subsidiaries from Audi to Porsche, plan to deliver aro

und 1.5 million electrified vehicles, most of them pure electric cars, in China by 2025.

It also expects global sales of electrified vehicles will total 22 million by 2028, and half of them will be produced in China.

China overtook the United States as the largest producer and market of new energy vehicles in 2015.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers expected sales of su

ch vehicles to reach at least 1.6 million this year, up from 1.2 million in 2018.

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We must work together to ensure that big data, and the

e technologies that it enables, are harnessed for the benefit of mankind while minimizing the risks to devel

opment, peace and security and human rights,” Guterres said in a congratulatory letter to the expo.

Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, said China has already made sig

nificant progress in bolstering the big data industry with a string of big data platforms established in sect

ors such as manufacturing, commerce, finance, transportation and medical care.

“We will make a fresh push to integrate cutting-edge information technologies into the re

al economy, including establishing a national industrial data center, to better power the country’s sp

rawling manufacturing sector,” Miao said at the opening ceremony of the big data expo.

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Foreign investors believe that China has enough policy

icy tools to offset short-term downside pressure, while the financial risks are under control as the country’s debt level has shown signs of stabilizing, Zhang said.

China’s overall debt-to-GDP ratio had dropped to 249.4 percent

by the end of 2018, 1.5 percentage points lower than a year earlier, according to the PBOC.

If trade tensions escalate further, more opening-up policies in the sectors of medical

care and education will help boost global investors’ confidence in the Chinese economy, Zhang added.

By hiking the tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 percent t

o 25 percent just when it seemed the China-US trade talks would achieve a bre

akthrough, the United States has not only intensified the trade dispute but also ensured both sides take a knock.

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Since agricultural products account for a relatively smal

ll percentage of China’s total exports to the US, the tariff hike is expected to have a limited impact on its overall trade. But Chi

na’s export of textiles, chemicals, daily necessities and some other products will be affected. Yet the effect of the h

igher tariffs would be somewhat offset due to the ratio of foreign capital and value-added goods in China’s foreign trade.

In terms of product category, the tariffs are targeted at intermediate and capital goods. Intermediate prod

ucts, capital goods, and consumer goods account for 51 percent, 32 percent and 17 percent of t

he $250 billion of Chinese goods on which the US has imposed higher tariffs (the US had already slapped higher tari

ffs of $50 billion of Chinese goods last year). And since 29 percent of consumer goods, 39 percent of capital goods and 74 perce

nt of intermediate products face higher tariffs, intermediate products will be the most affected by the US tariffs.

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