meets with trade negotiatorsites important progress in

ina would like to address the problems of economic and trade frictions with the United States in a cooperative way to promo

te 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 Mnuch

in 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 curre

nt stage, and the two negotiating teams will meet again in Washington next week for f

urther 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.

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The US team expressed the willingness to make joint effor

rts with the Chinese team to strive for the conclusion of a deal that meets the interests of both sides.

“We bring the best wishes of President Trump. He’s asked us to state that

he also places great importance on his personal relationship with you,” Lighthizer said.

“We have had two very good days of negotiations. We feel that we have made headway on some very, very important and

very difficult issues,” he said. “We have additional work we have to do but we are hopeful.”

Xi asked Lighthizer and Mnuchin to extend his sincere greetings to President Trump, saying

that he cherishes their good working relationship and would like to keep in contact with him.

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ending by banks surges in Januaryasures fend off nega

hina’s credit growth surged unexpectedly to a record pace in January, strengthening production in the real econo

my and easing overall downward pressure, People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, said on Friday.

Bank lending in domestic currency increased by 3.23 trillion yuan ($476.8 billion) last month, the fastest single-month growth

since the figure was first tracked in 1992. It increased by 2.9 trillion yuan in January 2018, the bank said.

Total social financing, a broader measure comprising all money the real economy receives from the fi

nancial sector, including off-balance-sheet financing activities, rose by 4.64 trillion yuan in Ja

nuary, which was also the fastest monthly growth ever, according to the central bank.

The month’s rapid credit growth was a result of a series of precauti

onary measures to ease the negative effects of slowing domestic demand and external h

eadwinds, according to Sun Guofeng, head of the bank’s monetary policy department, at a news conference.

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he increased bank lending could match the real econom

The monetary authority has rolled out a series of policies in recent mont

hs to ensure adequate liquidity in the financial sector and accelerated loan issuance to co

mpanies. The measures include a new lending facility, called the targeted medium-term lending facility, which was in

troduced in December to encourage commercial banks to increase lending to small and private firms.

The central bank further cut the required reserve ratio for financial institutions by 1 percentage point in January and inj

ected another 800 billion yuan of capital into the market. That followed four reserve ratio cuts last year.

Supported by the liquidity, the average interest rate in financial mark

ets had already declined by January, which actually provided much cheaper funding t

o commercial banks and borrowers in the corporate sector, Sun said.

Accompanied by the credit boost, growth of the broad money sup

ply, or M2, accelerated in January to 8.4 percent from 8.1 percent at the end of December, t

he central bank said. Government bond issuance, meanwhile, has also picked up since the start of this year.

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Unexpected twist in Gui case embarrasses Swedish FM

There has been a new unexpected twist in the case of Gui Minhai, and this time, the Swedish Ambassador to China Anna Lindstedt is involved.

Gui Minhai was born in China and later became a naturalized Swedish citizen. He was a Hong Kong-based bookseller be

fore being sued in the Chinese mainland in 2015. That lawsuit strained relations between China and Sweden.

His daughter, Angela Gui, has recently detailed a bizarre account of her visit to Stockholm, which has

embarrassed the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Angela Gui, who grew up in Sweden, now live

s in Britain where she is studying for a PhD in history at university. She gave her account in a media interview last we

ek and made an announcement Wednesday on her blog. Gui said that Ambassador Lindstedt contacted her in mid-January, inviting her to go to Sto

ckholm to meet two Chinese businessmen, who Lindstedt trusted, to discuss a new approach to her father’s case.

Angela Gui said she went to Stockholm in late January where she met two Chinese businessmen in the presence of Lindstedt. In

her statement, she said that the two businessmen asked her to stop all media engagements and public comment in exch

ange for her father’s release or commutation. According to Gui, Lindstedt supported the plan and said t

hat if not, the relationship between Sweden and China would otherwise be further undermined.

Angela Gui said that after the meeting, she called the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for confirm

ation. “They told me they hadn’t had the slightest idea this whole affair was taking place. They hadn’t even been informed the amb

assador was in the country,” she wrote. In her account of what happened, she not only gave details of the meeting,

but also described how she was feeling threatened and how the whole arrangement seemed suspicious.

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Xi called China-US ties one of the world’s most importa

nt bilateral relationships, and the two countries have wide common interests and shoulder im

portant responsibilities in safeguarding world peace and promoting global prosperity.

Maintaining the healthy and stable development of the China-US relationship is in line with the fundamen

tal interests of the people of both countries, and it is also the common wish of the international community, Xi said.

Xi mentioned his latest meeting with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 Lead

ers Summit in Argentina in December, saying that the two leaders reached important consensuses.

The two countries should promote building stable, cooperative and coordinative China-US relations, Xi said. The two sides s

hould enhance communication, focus on cooperation and handle disputes to promote economic and trade cooperation, Xi added.

The US team expressed the willingness to make joint efforts with the Chinese team to strive for the conclusion of a deal that meets the interests of both sides.

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Area encompasses Hong Kong and Macao, as well

Stock markets in China edged up on Tuesday as market sentiment was partly boosted by the news about the upcoming Bay Area blueprint.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.68 percent to close at 2,671.89

points, while the Shenzhen Component Index closed 1.15 percent higher at 8,010.07 points.

Gains were seen across Greater Bay Area-related sectors.

Kaisa Group, which owns lots of land in the bay area, surged 3.5 percent, while Shen

zhen International Holdings and Shenzhen Invest both notched healthy increases.

5G-related stocks were also up as China Tower closed 2.4 percent higher while Yangtze Optical Fibre and Cable climbed 3.5 percent.

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Consumers are more willing to spend money this year

Whether it is filial piety to the elderly or rewarding children or themselves, trading volu

me has kept growing. Spending on entertainment and travel also grew fast,” said Chen Han, a data analyst at China UnionPay.

Consumption has become the biggest driver for the economy, contributing 76.2 percent of the co

untry’s economic growth last year, up 18.6 percentage points over the previous year, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

“Judging from major economic indicators, domestic demand has become a decisive force of China’s economic gro

wth,” said Wang Bin, deputy director-general of the ministry’s department of market operation and consumption promotion.

Several factors will support steady consumer spending growth in China. Residential inco

me has been increasing fast and deeper pockets facilitate more spending. The second China Int

ernational Import Expo in Shanghai will also offer more access to global products, Wang said.

Wang Jun, a researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, exp

ects more favorable policies to further boost domestic shopping this year as nationwide tax cuts continue.

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Exercise leads Lunar New Year trendsival holiday, burning

During the Spring Festival holiday, burning calories has become a new trend from an internet catchphrase, chinanews.com has reported.

In many parts of China, sports have risen in popularity, as people enjoy working out by putting their

bodies in motion, reducing the physical burden of eating and drinking while staying healthier at the same time.

Fangfang, 24, from Taizhou, Zhejiang province, ran her first 5 kilometers of the Year of the Pig on Monday, as jogging to work makes her feel full of energy.

Dozens of winter swimmers from Yuhuan, Zhejiang, gathered at the beach behind Kanmen and rushed into to the sea against the cold wind to enjoy s

wimming. “We coastal people start the new year with our unique sport,” winter swimming enthusiast Chen Zhongfang said.

In preparation for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, games on snow and ice are drawing more interest. In snow and ic

e parks in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, a number of experiential projects have been set up, such

as a snow football field, ice bumper cars, curling, ice gyro and a snow circle. Thousands of citizens take part in such activities every day.

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Some conservatives in South Korea voiced concerns over a we

akening alliance with the United States at the same time as negotiations with North Korea to deprive it

of its nuclear weapons hit a stalemate. They said Trump might use the failed military cost-sharing negotiations as an excuse to pull back so

me U.S. troops in South Korea as a bargaining chip in talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Feb. 3 that he has no plans to withdraw troops from S

outh Korea. During his election campaign, Trump suggested he could pull back troops from South Korea a

nd Japan unless they took on greater a share of the financial burdens of supporting U.S. soldiers deployed there.

South Korean media earlier reported that Trump demanded South Korea double its spe

nding for the U.S. military deployment, before his government eventually asked for 1.13 trillion won ($1 billion).

Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said the U.S. had called for a sharp increase in South Korean spending but didn’t elaborate.

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