Paris fire sends alarm on relics protectionhedral in Pa

An inferno that destroyed the spire and a large portion of the wooden roof structure of the 12th-century Notre Dame Cathedral in Pa

ris on Monday reinforced a cautionary message to Chinese authorities about the need to better protect vulnerable heritage sites.

The National Cultural Heritage Administration held a staff meeting on Tuesday night at wh

ich officials discussed the Paris fire and six major fires that have taken place at Chinese cultural heritage sites this year.

“The fire at Notre Dame in Paris rang the warning bell for us,” Song Xi

nchao, deputy director of the administration, said in an interview on Tuesday.

“The safety of cultural heritage sites is a red line that can never be crossed. It’s a global issue,” he said.

The six fires were in Sichuan, Fujian, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang provinces, officials said.

On Jan 6, a hall at Yunyan Temple in Jiangyou, Sichuan province, burned down. On

Feb 2, a wooden family temple from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in Nanchang, Jiangxi, was destroyed by fire.

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Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the State Council’s Taiw

wan Affairs Office, said in a statement on Tuesday that the exercise aimed to protect national sover

eignty and territorial integrity, as well as protect the common interests of people from both sides of the straits.

Taiwan’s administration, led by the Democratic Progressive Party, used the drill as an opport

unity to “deceive and mislead the residents of Taiwan and to provoke and escalate a cross-Straits confrontation,” Ma said.

“Its goal of undermining cross-Straits relations and the peace and security of the region will not succeed,” Ma said. “Nobo

dy should underestimate our adamant resolve and ability to protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

On Tuesday, Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen said she will not be intimidated by the military d

rill, calling the exercise “a threat to Taiwan” and an act of “coercion”, the island’s media reported.

Tsai also thanked the United States for considering a deal with Taiwan to renew a $500

million training program in the US for Taiwan F-16 pilots and maintenance crews.

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He noted that since the first Belt and Road Forum for

 International Cooperation two years ago, more countries and inter

national organizations have joined in the construction of the Belt and Road.

So far, 125 countries and 29 international organiz

ations have signed BRI cooperation documents with China, according to Lu.

Among them are 16 Central and Eastern European countries and Gr

eece. Italy and Luxembourg signed cooperation agreements with China last month to join

tly build the Belt and Road. Jamaica also signed similar agreements on Thursday.

During Premier Li Keqiang’s European visit last week, both sides agreed to seek greate

r synergy between the BRI and the European Union’s strategy for connecting with Asia.

Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Comm

unist Party of China Central Committee, said last month that representatives of more than 100 coun

tries, including about 40 foreign leaders, have confirmed their attendance at the Beijing forum.

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Inside Beijing’s must-attend April eventbassador to

Guests like Austrian ambassador to China Friedrich Stift, p

erformances from the Strauss Festival Orchestra Vienna, and reality TV star Allen Wu as

host have made the event the most talked-about on Beijing’s April social calendar.

The dapperly attendees and the venue at the Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center, a lux

ury hotel in downtown Beijing, will make April 13 a night of waltz, high fashion and haute cuisine.

With tickets priced 1,500 yuan ($224), the ball has sold out every ye

ar during its five-year history in Beijing, according to organizer, the Kempinski Hotel.

In this video interview with China Daily’s website, both the ambassador and Brice Péan, mana

ging director of the Kempinski Hotel, give a preview of what to expect at this year’s ball.

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Urgency rises for tackling hazardous wastesipate after

The deadly blast at a chemical plant in Jiangsu province last month that left 78 dead clearly hig

hlights the urgent need to properly handle hazardous waste management in the country.

As central authorities tighten management by revising laws and issuing detailed

policies to support hazardous waste treatment, experts are calling for mandating

that facilities to process such waste be built in all chemical industry parks nationwide.

The explosion occurred on March 21 in Xiangshui county, Yanch

eng, at a Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Co Ltd plant. The accident also injured more than 600.

The State Council, China’s Cabinet, set up an investigation

group and the probe into the cause of the blast is ongoing.

Multiple sources have suggested that the casual handling of hazard

ous chemical waste produced by the company could be a cause of the deadly blast.

China Chemical Industry News reported that the blast originated at

the company’s hazardous waste storage facility, citing a source close to the investigation group.

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They are both staunch supporters of free trade and mul

ultilateralism, and with the United States increasingly opting for unilateralism in international affairs, China and the EU can str

engthen their coordination within the framework of the United Nations and buttress the role of multilateral mecha

nisms including the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund.

Beijing and Brussels are also two important voices advocating internati

onal efforts to combat climate change and promote sustainable development.

It is hoped that the leaders attending the China-EU Summit in Brussels will send positive signals that the two sides are commi

tted to deepening their strategic and reciprocal cooperation. By strengthening their consensus and solida

rity, they can boost confidence that they will work together to address shared and global challenges.

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The European leaders said they are glad to see a greater

 development in China, and the EU welcomes China’s willingness to share its development opportunities.

Chinese enterprises are welcome to invest in European countries, said the European leaders, adding that they will not adopt restrictive measures against specific com

panies, and are willing to provide a fair, open and transparent business environment for all foreign enterprises.

During the visit, Peng Liyuan, Xi’s wife, also attended a number of events aimed at deepeni

ng cultural and educational exchanges between China and the European nations.

As a special envoy of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the advanceme

nt of girls’ and women’s education, Peng was invited to visit the headquarters of the UNESCO in Paris.

Wang said Peng’s visit highlighted China’s image of a hardworking, responsible maj

or country that actively participates in international education, gender equality and other affairs.

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It is not the first time in our European history to have suc

 such an attitude. Any nation with very strong and rapid growth is always in a very difficu

lt position in public opinion because we are afraid about the strength of others,” he said.

“For example, we were afraid of cultural pressure from the United States in the 1960s, and 20 ye

ars later, we had the same feelings against Japan with its technological projects. Now, China is bac

k around the table of big nations. I think we have to accept that and not be afraid, but to discuss.”

Raffarin said the two countries are expected to close contracts and announce new projects. He also

said the dialogue between France and China could be very useful in forming a new vision for multilateralism in a changing world.

In addition to strong existing collaboration between France and China, including in the automotive, aviation and healthcare sectors, Raffarin said the most

important thing for the future of Sino-French relations is to identify third-country projects, such as the Hinkley Point C nu

clear power plant in the United Kingdom, which is jointly financed by China and France, as well as opportunities in Africa.

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hinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolenc

to New Zealand Governor-General Patsy Reddy on Friday over the deadly shooting incidents earlier Friday in New Zealand’s Christchurch City.

In his message, Xi said he was shocked to learn about the serious shooting incidents which have caused heavy casualties.

On behalf of the Chinese government, the Chinese people and in his ow

n name, Xi expressed deep sympathy with and sincere condolences to the New Zealand gov

ernment and the New Zealand people, while expressing grief for the victims and wishing the injured an early recovery.

Also on Friday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sent a message of condolence to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arder

n, expressing grief for the victims while extending sincere sympathies to the injured and the bereaved families.

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China offers tax relief to overseas talent working in Greater

  Based on the individual income tax differentials between the Chinese mainland and

Hong Kong, overseas high-end talent and professionals in short supply that work in the Greater Bay Area will g

et subsidies from Guangdong province and Shenzhen municipality to offset the differentials, according to the MOF.

  The subsidies will be exempt from paying individual income tax.

  The policy, effective from January 2019 to the end of 2023, applies to nine cities in Guangdo

ng — Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing, the ministry said.

  It said the move aimed to encourage the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

  Consisting of the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and the nine cities in

Guangdong, the area covers 56,000 square km. It had a combined population of about 70 million at the end of 2017.

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