Which is why US President Donald Trump’s latest remarks

that the negotiations have been progressing “very well” and he might reportedly even let the March 1 deadline “slide for a little while” — have been taken as portents that progress is being made and a positive result may well be on the way.

Especially as White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has raised the possibility of Trump meeting with Pres

ident Xi Jinping at the US president’s personal retreat at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, sometime in March — The White Ho

use has previously said the two leaders would have to meet to strike the final bargain.

The market never lies, as the saying goes. Let’s hope that’s true, because the stock market has already

cast a vote of confidence in China and the US being able to reach a deal. The bench mark S

hanghai Composite Index has rebounded more than 10 percent, and the Dow Jones industrial average, more than 15

percent, from their lows in December when Sino-US trade tensions were running high.

It is apt that melting snow symbolizes a new beginning, as positive progress in the talks would m

ean a convergence of expectations for bilateral relations and help ensure the Sino-US relationship has a s

olid foundation of mutual trust and good momentum for positive interaction at the start of its fifth decade.

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It could be the number of deaths among the elderly in rur

ral areas are at their lowest in February and March after discounting for the effects of winter’s cold snaps. Currently, a

bout one-fifth of the population aged 80 and above have moderate to severe disabilities and chronic illnesses, but it is als

o a fact that happier people cope better with illness and disability, regardless of age. Several studies in China clearly show tha

t a key factor in elderly people’s life satisfaction is spending quality time with their children and close friends.

It also wouldn’t be surprising if monthly births registrations in many villages and s

mall towns show a spike around November and December this year, as a re

sult of the coming together for an extended period of millions of spouses during the Spring Festival.

Furthermore, Chinese society places a high premium on marriage and childbearing with

in marriage for young adults, and Spring Festival is the peak time

for matchmaking in rural areas. So, we may expect this year’s holiday period to have yielded above average levels of suc

cessful matchmaking of future spouses by pro-active parents. This social function of the festival should not be o

verlooked, especially with the persistently rising age of people getting married for the first time in China.

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Jonathan Choi Koon-shum, chairman of the Chinese Gener

Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, said he believes the blueprint will demonstrate ho

w to achieve mutual development without vicious competition among the participating cities.

He also noted that Hong Kong enjoys an advantage in attracting international talent and providing world-class pro

fessional services. That’s what Hong Kong can contribute to the development of the Greater Bay Area, Choi remarked.

Choi’s chamber is one of the leading business chambers in H

ong Kong, with nearly 6,000 members from business and trade circles.

Zhang Mingjie, a professor at the Division of Life Science at the Hong Kong U

niversity of Science and Technology, expressed high expectations for the out

line, saying it would open the door to brighter prospects for Hong Kong’s scientific and technological development.

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Former PBOC governor wins 2019 lifetime achievement award

Zhou Xiaochuan, former governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), has won the UK’s 2019 Central Banking lifetime achievement award, according to the publication’s website.

Zhou, the sixth winner of the award, stands out for his high levels of integrity, intellectual ri

gor and bold reforms that have served the public interest in China and elsewhere, said a statement of the website.

The Central Banking Awards were established to recognize outstanding perform

ance in individuals and organizations in the central banking community.

Zhou, who stepped down as PBOC governor in March 2018, had served in his position from

December 2012-2018, which makes him China’s longest serving central bank governor since 1949.

The award recognizes the impact Zhou had on the central bank and the Chinese economy.

“While in office, Zhou demonstrated high levels of integrity in his pursuit of public s

ervice. He brought academic rigor to real-world decision-making, acting as a prag

matic policymaker with a strong sense of what was in the public interest,” the statement said.

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China-US space cooperation would likely to prompt more

countries to join hands to develop space instead of choosing between China and the US, especially because after the end of the Cold War, international space cooperation has increased.

In fact, the International Space Station launched in 1998 has been operating thanks to the cooperat

ion between the US, Russia, Japan, some European countries, Canada and Brazil. The four maj

or satellite positioning systems — GPS (US), Beidou (China), GLONASS (Russia) and Galileo (Europe) — may also comple

ment each other to provide the most accurate positioning services. And once China and the US engage in a major sp

ace project, many other countries will join in and thus take space exploration to a new stage.

Sino-US space cooperation will stimulate the development of relevant industries and bring tangible benefits to the people. Space explora

tion will set in motion a series of space industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, resources, e

ergy and tourism. These may become new sources of growth for the world economy, promote industrial techn

ologies, and help address some global challenges such as climate change and energy depletion.

And the new products and services so generated will improve people’s lives and contribute to social progress.

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Holiday week spending over 1 trillion yuannd day of the Chin

Chinese consumers opened their wallet during Spring Festival, not only on things like digital home appliances and importe

d fresh food but also on experiences such as travel and entertainment, government figures showed.

Shopping, dining out, travel and entertainment accounted for most of the consumer spending during the week-long hol

iday. Analysts and officials said the strong domestic demand will inject further growth momentum into the eco

nomy in 2019 as the government unveils more policies to spur consumption.

Spending on retail and food services during the Spring Festival period, from Feb 4 to Sunday this year, exceeded 1 trilli

on yuan ($147.41 billion) for the first time, up 8.5 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

The ministry said a key term for Lunar New Year holiday spending was “seeking higher quality” as the government’s em

phasis on upgrading consumption continues. Emerging areas for spending such as the internet, customized pr

oducts, experiences, digital products and services were growth areas during the holiday.

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Job fairs sprouting up around eastern Chinaulletin at a job

Many cities in eastern China are organizing job fairs to meet demand for new employees after the Spring Festival holiday.

The first such event in Yancheng, Jiangsu province, opened on Monday with more than 10,000 jobs off

ered by 200 local companies. The fair aims to attract more college students and migrant workers, wh

o usually return to their hometowns during Spring Festival for family reunions.

Most of the jobs are in manufacturing, catering and finance. There is also huge demand for emp

loyees in the machinery, sales and design sectors, said Zhang Chengyu, director of the Yancheng talent market.

“With the city’s economic and social development, many people now prefer to w

ork in their hometowns,” he said. “We organized the fair to provide op

portunities for them. More than 100 fairs offering 50,000 jobs will be held this year.

“Many companies pay salaries of more than 10,000 yuan ($1,474) a mon

th. They need to recruit enough employees to guarantee post-festival operations.”

Dai Yang, a graduate in mechanical engineering, said he would prefer to work in his hometown-Huaian, Jiangsu-if the salary met his demands.

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Tiantongyuan redevelopment set to improve livesin the capi

To eradicate the problems in the capital’s suburb in August, the Beijing government launched a three-year, 20-billion-yuan action plan focusing on 97 projects.

However, having since consulted with 17 commissions and bureaus, the aim is now to work on more than 100 projects.

Cai Qi, Party secretary of Beijing, said the city’s urban planners should look at ways of implementing Ti

antongyuan’s original functions to improve living standards and provide better, happier homes.

The plan is part of a citywide campaign to build the capital into a world-class city in accordance with

the Beijing Overall Urban Development Plan published in October 2017. It will run until 2030.

Li Ding, associate professor at the School of Sociology and Population Studies at Re

nmin University of China, has studied Huilongguan for more than five years.

He said the upgrade is badly needed, so the action plan should have been formulated earlier. Moreover, as the lack of major in

frastructure is not an issue residents can tackle, the local government must assume the responsibility.

“Most Huilongguan residents are highly educated, so their demand for educational and cultural facilities is much higher,” Li said.

Since renovation work began at a 19-hectare sports and cultural park in Huilongguan, Li has noticed changes in the community.

“Some old sports facilities have been demolished and the park has been divided into four zones to provide a modern facility,” he said.

According to the Beijing Municipal Development and Reform Commission, there are plans t

o build six kindergartens as well as three primary and two secondary schools to satisfy residents’ needs.

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South Korea began paying for the U.S. military deplo

the early 1990s, after rebuilding its economy from the devastation of the 1950-1953 Korean War.

About 20 anti-U.S. activists rallied near the Foreign Ministry building in Seoul on Su

nday, chanting slogans like “No more money for U.S. troops.” No violence was reported.

“The United States government realizes that Korea does a lot for our alliance and peace an

d stability in the region,” chief U.S. negotiator Timothy Betts said Sunday in Seoul. “We are very pleased ou

r consultations resulted in agreement that will strengthen transparency and deepen our cooperation and the alliance.”

The deal, which involves the spending of South Korean taxpayer money, requires parliam

entary approval in South Korea, but not in the United States, according to Seoul’s Foreign Ministry.

The allies had failed to reach a new cost-sharing plan during some 10 rounds of tal

ks. A five-year 2014 deal that covered South Korea’s payment last year expired at the end of 2018.

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S.Korean president to consult with Trump on 2nd DPRK

SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in will consult with U.S. President Donald Trump in the near future on th

e second summit between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States, South Korea’s presidential Blue House said Sunday.

Kim Eui-keum, Blue House spokesman, told a press briefing that the leaders of South Korea and the United States will make a d

iscussion on the second DPRK-U.S. summit in the near future, saying the exact schedule will be unveiled as soon as preparations are made.

Moon and Trump would reportedly have a phone conversation in the foreseeable future.

The Moon-Trump dialogue would come after top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and Trump agreed to meet again later this mon

th in Hanoi, Vietnam. Kim and Trump held their first summit in Singapore in June last year.

Stephen Biegun, U.S. special representative for DPRK affairs, visited Pyongy

ang earlier this week to consult with his DPRK counterparts on the planned second Kim-Trump summit.

The Blue House spokesman said he heard that Pyongyang and Washington had a

greed to continue negotiations at a third country in Asia in the week beginning Feb. 17.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wi

ll have talks in the near future, while Chung Eui-yong, top Blue House national security advisor, will cl

osely exchange information with White House National Security Advisor John Bolton, the spokesman added.

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