Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Thai King

Maha Vajiralongkorn on being crowned officially on Saturday.

On behalf of the Chinese government and people, and in his own name, Xi express

ed in a message sincere congratulations and good wishes to the king and the Thai people.

The king is an old friend of the Chinese people and has been attending to and supp

orting the cause of friendship between the two countries for long, Xi said in the message.

“I attach great importance to the development of China-Thailand rel

ations and stand ready to make joint efforts with you to carry forward the traditional C

hina-Thailand friendship, deepen cooperation in building the Belt and Road jointly, and push forward the comp

rehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries to make bigger headway,” Xi said.

The Chinese president wished the Kingdom of Thailand flourishing and prosperity, and the people happiness and good health.

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 of cooperation, defined key areas and strengthened the mechanism to seek high-quality development of the BRI, he said.

Leaders reached wide-ranging agreement on high-quality cooperation on the BRI at the leaders’ roundtable on Saturday after an i

n-depth exchange of views on issues such as connectivity, policy integration and sustainable development.

They supported comprehensive infrastructure connectivity as a way to foster economic growth and to build high-q

uality, reliable, resilient and sustainable infrastructure, according to a joint communique issued after the roundtable.

All parties involved supported strengthening synergies in development policies using the principle

of extensive consultations, joint contributions for shared benefits and building even closer partnerships, the joint communique said.

The leaders also upheld green and sustainable growth and agreed to enhance cooperation in areas such as environ

mental protection, circular economy and clean energy, according to the communique.

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 deadlines or fulfill other tasks, they can ask them to work overtime – but not than 36 hours a month and only after consulti

ng and reaching an agreement with the labor union and the workers. More important, empl

oyers have to pay at least 1.5 times the usual salary to the employees for overtime work.

This is to protect the rights, interests and health of the workers.

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, has added fuel to the debate, by saying that empl

oyees who get the “opportunity” to work according the “996” schedule are the luc

ky ones, because in many companies employees don’t get the chance to work long hours.

But the fact is, if employers do not meet the two essential requiremen

ts to make employees work overtime – consulting wo

rkers and restricting the amount of extra work – and force the “996” schedule o

n their workers and make them work for more than 60 hours a week, they violate the Labor Law.

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mmercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC), for example. At the earliest, COMAC will get the airworth

iness certificate for C919 in 2021. Besides, just obtaining the certificate does not reduce even a bit of the difficulty in making and delivering the aircraft.

As the history of aircraft manufacturing shows, it is almost impossible for manufacturer

s to obtain airworthiness certificate and deliver aircraft to the purchasers on time. More often than not, aerospace companies ta

ke several years more than the promised time to deliver the aircraft. For instance, both Boeing 787 Drea

mliner and Airbus 380 were delivered years behind schedule. Which means delayed delivery is a norm in the aerospace industry.

In short, it would take decades for Chinese manufacturers to mass-produce airplanes irrespective of the rise and fall of other aircraft makers.

China has made great strides in industrialization during the 40 years of reform and opening

-up, but for that it learned from developed countries’ experiences and put its own experiences to good

use. The complete system of research, development, safety, production, supply chain and service that took Boein

g and Airbus decades to establish should be what Chinese aircraft manufacturers should strive for. With continuo

us efforts, C919 could earn its place in the civil aviation industry-perhaps 10, even 20, years later.

 

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found changes in the international situation and bilateral relations.

He said the importance China attaches to its relations with France has not changed. China has always regar

ded France as a priority partner of cooperation, and the two peoples keep a special friendship, he added.

“This is a valuable asset that we must inherit and carry forward to keep China-France relations at the forefront of the times,” Xi said.

 went on to say that the common pursuit for peace, development, fairness and justice has not changed.

He said both China and France uphold the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and

principles of the UN Charter while practicing multilateralism and opposing protectionism and unilateralism in international affairs.

Both countries are committed to building an open world economy and working together to meet th

e common challenges facing humanity, Xi said, adding that China and France have cooperated su

ccessfully on many occasions in the field of climate change, playing a positive leading role in the world.

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  At least 50 people were killed when two commercial buses collided and burst into flames in northern Ghana, police told CNN Friday.

  Ghana Police Service spokesman David Eklu said the accident occurred at about 1:30 am Friday morning when the two lo

ng-distance buses collided head-on on the main highway leading from Kintampo to Tamale, Ghana’s fourth largest city.

  ”The buses went up in flames when they collided,” Eklu said.

  ”It’s too early to ascertain how many died but 50 people have been confirmed dead.”

  He said both buses had about 100 people on board and some of the victims burned to death.

  At least 61 killed in collision of bus, truck in Ghana

  Eklu added that more than 50 people were injured in the crash

and the death toll could rise as police are still assessing the situation at the crash site.

  Victims’ families are being informed, although most of them have not yet been identified.

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  According to Gong, however, the school was established to meet the demands of the booming crayfish industry in Qianjiang.

  The crayfish industry, comprising breeding, cooking, processing and exporting the crustaceans, is the city’s leading sector.

  It employs an estimated 130,000-150,000 people, accounting for more than half of the local workforce, Gong said.

  Washington should admit that every country ha

s a justified right to develop and most countries c

an make their own choices independently, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday.

  ”More and more people have shown an increasingly just at

titude toward Chinese technology companies’ participation in 5G network construction. The

United States should not feel uneasy about this,” ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a news conference in Beijing.

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  en’s rights and speaking out against the death penalty — it is utterly outrageous that Ir

an’s authorities are punishing her for her human rights work,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty Int

ernational’s Middle East and North Africa research and advocacy director, in a statement on Monday.

  Last June, Sotoudeh was arrested at her home in Tehran and taken to Evin prison, a notorious jail just outside the capital.

  According to Amnesty International, Iran conducted its “worst” crackdown in a decade in 2018, arresting over 7,000 dissidents.

  Women in Iran have been protesting the obligatory Islamic headscarf by taking theirs off and waving them on sticks.

  Sotoudeh, a winner of the European Parliament‘s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, is serving a jail sentence for a secon

d time. In 2010, she was sentenced to 11 years in prison on charges related to her work defending detained Iranian dem

onstrators during the 2009 Green Movement, a protest movement sparked by widespread accusations of electoral fraud.

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  Brexit could be on the brink of being postponed.

  Three senior UK ministers have issued a warning to Theresa May that Britain’s depa

rture from the European Union should be delayed if there is no breakthrough on her deal in the next few days.

  Writing in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper, cabinet members Amber Rudd, David Gauke and Greg Clark signaled th

ey would support a vote in Parliament to have the Article 50 process extended in order to prevent Britain leaving the EU without a deal.

  ”If there is no breakthrough in the coming week, the balance of opinion in Parliament is cl

ear — that it would be better to seek to extend Article 50 and delay our date of departure rather than cra

sh out of the European Union on March 29,” the trio wrote in the article published Saturday.

  They added that if a parliamentary compromise is not found soon, there won’t be enou

gh time to agree a deal and pass legislation before March 29, the date when Britain is set to exit the bloc.

  The senior ministers’ warning comes just days after three Conservative lawmakers quit the party over what they called The

resa May’s “disastrous” handling of Brexit, and the Conservative party’s shift to the right. They joined eig

ht former members of the opposition Labour party who quit a few days earlier. The former Labour MPs left their party in p

art over its handling of Brexit, but also the wave of anti-Semitism that has engulfed it.

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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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