It’s hard to say that China entered a new cycle of credit expansion,” said Zhang Ming, chief eco

nomist at Ping An Securities. “For the whole year, the overall financing growth and money supply is expected to stabilize.”

Fast credit expansion means higher pressure on companies to repay debt and interest, and the space for sustainable credit growth i

s limited, given the current leverage level. Total outstanding debt has exceeded 250 percent of GDP, Zhang said.

The good news is that credit has been channeled effectively into the production sector, such as manuf

acturing and high-tech, and the healthier credit structure can support the overall economic r

estructuring reform, said Ruan Jianhong, head of the central bank’s statistics and analysis department.

hina and the United States will continue economic and trade consultations in Washington ne

xt week, after reaching consensus in principle on major issues during their high-level Beijing talks, State media reported.

According to Xinhua News Agency, the two sides had in-depth communication on topics of mutual concern including tec

hnological transfers, intellectual property rights protection, nontariff barriers, the service industry, agr

iculture, the trade balance and an implementation mechanism, as well as on particular issues of concern to China.

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In April and July, Japan signed the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), a military logistics pac

t, with Canada and France respectively. The Japanese government will try to get it approved by the National D

iet this year. Canada and France are also advancing domestic procedures for its approval.

The agreement will enable the provision of food, fuel and military supplie

s between Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) and French and Canadian armies. Jap

an has also inked ACSAs with the US, the UK, Australia and India. Why did Japan sign such an agreement?

After WWII, especially in the late 1960s when Japan became an economic powerhouse, it was no longer satisfied with its status as a military microstate.

In the mid-1980s, Japan accelerated the pace to push its SDF onto the w

orld stage with the aim of becoming a major political power.

In 1996, Japan signed the ACSA with the US, followed by one with Austr

alia in 2010. After the new security law took effect on March 29, 2016, Japan amended t

he two ACSAs, which enabled more flexible provision of ammunition in wartime between the signatories.

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hina would like to address the problems of economic and trade frictions with the United States in a co

operative way to promote the conclusion of a deal accepted by both sides, President Xi Jinping said on Friday.

Xi made the remark while meeting with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mn

uchin in Beijing. The meeting came after the conclusion of two days of high-level economic and trade consultations.

Xi added that certain principles are necessary for cooperation.

Chinese and US consultation teams made important progress for the current stage, a

nd the two negotiating teams will meet again in Washington next week for fur

ther discussions, Xi said. He added that the both nations should make more efforts for a win-win deal.

The two countries’ economic and trade teams have had frequent and helpful consultatio

ns since December, Xi said. He has emphasized many times that cooperation is the best choice for China and the US.

Cooperation will bring benefits to the two countries while conflicts will injure both sides, he added.

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ai Xiaomin, former China Huarong Asset Management board chairman, has been charged with bribery, corruption and bigamy, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate said on Friday.

China Huarong is one of the country’s four largest State-own asset management companies.

It is alleged that Lai exploited various professional positions, including head of the Huarong

corporation and director-general of the banking supervision department of the People’s Bank of China.

While in these positions, it is claimed that he asked for and received significant benefits in exc

hange for “aid”, according to a press release from the SPP, the country’s top prosecuting authority.

It also alleged that Lai was in illegal possession of a large number of public properties, a

nd that he was living as husband and wife with a woman other than his wife, the release said.

Lai, 56, was placed under investigation by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) o

f the Communist Party of China in April last year for “serious violations of disciplinary rules

and laws”, and was expelled from the Party and removed from public office six months later.

The CCDI said he violated political disciplines and State financial policies to blindly expand the c

ompany and operate it in a disorderly manner, resulting in it deviating from its primary tasks and business.

Lai, a Jiangxi province native, started his career at the People’s Bank of China in July 1983, and went on

to hold key positions at the China Banking Regulatory Commission and Beijing Banking Regulatory Bureau.

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Five more geographical entities on the moon have been given Chinese names,

based on discoveries from China’s latest Chang’e 4 mission, according to a news conference on Friday.

The China National Space Administration, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Internatio

nal Astronomical Union held a joint news conference Friday to announce the five names approved by the IAU on Feb 4.

The landing site of the Chang’e 4 probe is named Statio Tianhe, and three annular pits around the landing site are called Zh

inyu, Hegu and Tianjin. The central peak in the Von Karman Crater is referred to as Mons Tai.

The five places are clearly shown on high-resolution images based on data from the Chang’e 2 and Chang’e 4 missions.

China’s Chang’e 4 probe, launched on Dec 8, landed on the Von K

arman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon on Jan 3.

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 by the Chinese monetary authority, earlier than other major central banks, based on the evaluation on macroeconomic conditions and the exter

nal environment. Policy fine-tuning will send positive signals to the market and support financial resilience, Zhang said.

This year, the remarkable change in tone from the world’s major central banks is shifting into a monet

ary easing cycle, and policies from the Chinese central bank are headed in the same direction, Zhang added.

A recent research note from Goldman Sachs forecast China’s credit growth to rise in January as commercial banks may be “si

gnificantly more aggressive than before” with encouragement from the easing policy. With the PBOC scheduled to

release more data this week, the trend may be reflected in faster growth of new yuan loans and the broad money supply.

Amid a good fall of snow, which Chinese traditionally believe promises a year of harvest and

prosperity, Chinese and United States top officials started two days of talks in Beijing on Thursday.

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ment bond issuance or implement more tax cuts, Economic Information Daily reported Wednesday, citing the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

A total of 2.61 trillion yuan ($386.46 billion) of bond quota was unused by the end of 2018, accounting for 14.1 percent of total local debt, the academy said in a report.

This means China can extend bond issuance, or undertake 14 percent of tax and fee cuts.

The debt balance stood at 18.39 trillion yuan at the end of last year, well below the official ceil

ing of 21 trillion yuan, and accounting for 109 percent of total fiscal revenue of local governments.

In 2018 local authorities raised a total of 4.17 trillion yuan through bond issuance, down from 4.36 trill

ion yuan in 2017, according to the Ministry of Finance. The local debt ratio was 76.6 percent last ye

ar, significantly lower than the international warning line of 100-120 percent.

Last year local governments’ implicit debt risk was controlled effectively, however, the total debt level was still huge, the academy said.

In 2018 new explicit debts rose 13.5 percent to 2.18 trillion yuan, while the in-balance-sh

eet interest payment reached 734.5 billion yuan, with a 17.1 percent growth rate, about 2.75 times that of fiscal revenue.

A rapid increase in interest payments put pressure on future fiscal guarantees and service capacity, the academy added.

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nger the prerogative of the US and Russia. Apart from the US, Russia and China, India too has worked out an ambitious plan to put astronauts in space by 2022.

Constantly improving manufacturing and new material technologies have remarkably reduced the cost of space launches. The pr

ivate US company Space X has successfully launched recoverable rockets, and its launch cost per kilogram payload has fallen below $2,000, one-ten

th that of a space shuttle launch. And for China and India, the cost of one rocket launch is less than $5,000 per kg.

Another major change helping space exploration is the advancement in 3D printing technology, which now allows astr

onauts to produce parts and components in the International Space Station and thus reduces the number of sup

ply vehicle launches. 3D printing will play a big role in the construction of a permanent space station on the moon.

These technological advancements have propelled a new wave of space fever ac

ross the world. While US President Donald Trump has reactivated the space ex

ploration program that aims to land humans on Mars by 2033, private space companies such as Space X and Blue Ori

gin have used advanced technologies to their full advantage to move ahead in the space race.

For China, building a permanent space station and a rocket launch platform on the moon will

be critical to advanced space exploration. Actually, China is moving closer to fulfilling that objective.

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circulation industry development, said online sales have become an important engine to stimulate domestic spending and i

mports. “Durable consumer goods with high-tech features and branded foreign products have huge commercial potential,” Zheng said.

Chinese e-commerce giant JD reported robust sales between Feb 3 and Friday, with sales revenue jumpi

ng 42.74 percent year-on-year. Smartphones, computers and home appliances were the top three items on JD in terms of sales value.

Chinese consumers tend to buy high-quality and diversified products, the comp

any said. Kitchenware sales posted the strongest growth — 399 percent year-on-year. That was followed by furniture and

luggage, with their respective sales revenue up 185 percent and 148 percent, JD reported.

China UnionPay, the country’s largest bank card operater by market share, saw its total transaction volume over the ho

liday period reach 1.16 trillion yuan, jumping 71.4 percent year-on-year, the company said on Monday.

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Meanwhile, a slump in population increases and growing aging populations will become a ke

y factor dragging down economic growth in developed countries and some developing countries.

The global population is predicted to rise from 7.35 billion in 2015 to 8.89 billion in 2035 and 9.77 billion in 2050. The pr

oportion of the aging population is expected to rise from 8.3 percent in 2015 to 13 percent in 2035 and 15.8 percent in 2050.

Over the next 15 years, global economy is expected to trend more toward multipolarity. By 2035, developing co

untries’ GDP will surpass developed economies’, contributing nearly 60 percent in global economy and investment.

The focus of global economic growth will shift from Europe and the United States to

Asia and extend to other developing countries and regions, the center added.

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