Last month, the National People’s Congress passe

the foreign investment law, a landmark legislation that will provide stronger protection a

nd a better business environment for overseas investors. The law will become effective on Jan 1, 2020.

Artificial intelligence will bring about changes as fundamental as t

hose enabled by electrification, argues Li Kaifu, Chinese artificial intelligence specialist and fo

under of the venture capital firm Sinovation Ventures. He says that China is leading in real-world applications of AI to bus

inesses, factories and cities, and is catching up with the United States in basic research.

Li’s technological optimism contrasts with a widespread pessi

mism about technology prevalent among thinkers from Silicon Valley.

For example, famed venture capitalist Peter Theil uses the slogan “We wanted flying cars, ins

tead we got 140 characters” as the subtitle of his investment fund. In many interviews, he ha

s explained that we’ve seen “innovation in the world of bits, but not in the world of atoms”.

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In contrast, Li said in an interview with China Daily

 that we are already seeing people’s lives improved by, for example, shopping websites that help you fi

nd what you are looking for. “For people who are feeling that this is not science fiction, this is just Amazo

n showing me an ad or a bank giving me a loan. Just wait. In the next five or 10 years, we’ll see robotics and in the nex

t 10-20 years autonomous vehicles – and they will be magical,” he said.

“The atom part will take longer, but that will happen too. The hardes

t part today appears to be the atom side – robotics, autonomous vehicles, flying cars and thin

gs like that. Because the big breakthroughs have been just pure software.”

Ironically, Theil, the co-founder of PayPal and a lead investor in Fa

cebook and big data mining company Palantir, has said that we live in a financial age, rather

than a scientific and technological age. “It’s not clear it’s enough to bring our civilization to the next level.”

Most tellingly, Theil points out that the oligopolistic US tech giants – Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft – are each sitti

ng on billions of dollars of cash, but they can’t think of any technological opportunities where they can invest that money.

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Fourth, the daunting challenges that China faces at this po

point in its economic development are far more important than whether its slowdown is

a gap or a trap. What comes after the catch-up to advanced economies operating on the technological frontier? This

is where China’s stated goal of shifting from imported to indigenous innovation comes in. Middle-versus high-inco

me status is a relative comparison for developing economies seeking to operate on that frontier. Notwithstanding the

temporary effects of periodic exogenous disturbances-such as deleveraging, global slowdowns, or even trad

e wars-catching up to the frontier and joining others pushing to move beyond it is the ultimate reward of economic development. That goal is ensh

rined in President Xi Jinping’s aspiration for China to achieve high-income status by 2050.

And fifth, productivity growth is far more important than GDP gro

wth in determining a country’s development prospects. As such, I would be far more wor

ried about China falling into a productivity trap than a GDP growth trap. A new study on total factor prod

uctivity (TFP) by a team of Chinese researchers offers some comfort here. Like the work of Pritchett and Summers, thi

s latest assessment of Chinese TFP growth reveals several discontinuities over the past 40 years.

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I am offering to sit down with the leader of the op

osition and to try to agree a plan that we would both stick to ensure that we leave the European Union and that we do so with a deal.”

The pound rallied against the dollar as much as 0.3 percent to above $1.31. It also strengthened against the euro to 85.43 pence.

May said that if she could not agree a unified approach with

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn then the government would agree a number of options o

n the future relationship with the EU and put them before the House of Commons in a series of votes.

The government, she said, would then abide by the decision of the House of Commons.

Her divorce deal with the EU has been defeated three times by the lower house of the Briti

sh parliament, which failed on Monday to find a majority of its own for any alternatives.

The impasse has already delayed Brexit for at least two weeks beyond the planned departure date on April 12.

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Crude steel production capacity in Hebei, Tianjin to be

Crude steel production capacity in Hebei province and Tianjin will be capped at 200 million metric tons

and 15 million tons by 2020, as part of China’s efforts to optimize the iron and steel industry, a senior government official said.

“There is too much capacity in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and

the surrounding areas, as well as the Yangtze River Delta region,” said Lyu Guixin, an ins

pector with the raw material department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

“The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region takes up only 2.2 percent of

China’s territory, but accounts for 25 percent of the nation’s crude steel output.”

Although official figures from the Chinese authorities are not av

ailable, Zeng Jiesheng, chief analyst with steel e-commerce platform Ouyeel.com, told Chi

nese media earlier that the iron and steel capacity of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region stood at about 280 million tons.

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Qian is one of 47 teachers who arrived on the southweste

rn plateau in 2015 from Jiangsu, whose students regularly post some of the best exam result

s in China. Some members of the original teaching group have left and been replaced by new arrivals.

As experts in teaching methods and education theory, they we

re keen to bring their experience and knowledge to Tibet, where education was once exclusive to the ar

istocracy. Their efforts are paying off, as both students and local teachers are benefiting from their presence.

The school, a secondary boarding establishment, was establ

ished by the Jiangsu government in 2014 with an investment of 263 million yuan ($39 million).

It is home to 2,890 students, more than 90 percent of whom are Tibetan, and the 316 teachers provide 63 classes. Exc

uding the 47 educators from Jiangsu, the teachers are locals of both Han and Tibetan ethnicity.

The students, from juniors to seniors, said the Jiangsu teachers ar

e more patient and softer-tempered than those at their old schools and the classes are more interesting.

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In response, the school launched a project that paired each

 Jiangsu teacher with at least one local educator. The outsiders acted as mentors, providing guidance and support.

Qian, the Chinese teacher, has mentored five teachers. He attended their classes once a week, offering advice afterwards. He also set assignments,

such as reading magazines or two to three books each year, as well as writing a paper on teaching practice every semester.

“I think many local teachers need to constantly explore education theory and the art of teaching. They also

need to read more and strengthen their research abilities, because teaching without researching is lost labor,” he said.

Namgal, a Tibetan math teacher who came to the school after she graduated t

wo years ago, said she has learned valuable lessons from her two Jiangsu mentors.

When she started teaching, her class had the third-lowest average mat

h score in the school’s seventh grade. Her first mentor, Pan Lichao, attended her classes regul

arly, taking notes and suggesting methods she could adopt. Pan also met with her several times to help prepare lessons.

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hina to pilot football-focused kindergartensball in Qin

China will start the trial run of football-focused kindergartens this year, with 50 to 200 such kin

dergartens in each provincial-level region, according to a directive by the Ministry of Education.

It is among the country’s efforts to popularize campus football, encourage kindergartens

to extensively carry out child football activities and foster children’s all-around development.

The pilot program aims to cultivate interest in football in children through popular

football games and create an atmosphere favorable for football culture to grow, the directive says.

Various physical activities tailored for kids will be held, during which children are enco

uraged to run, jump, climb, pitch and bounce balls to promote the development of their basic sports abilities.

Kindergartens must give top priority to children’s safety and health, the ministry stresses.

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As a leading company in regional development planning

 Roland Berger has contributed to China’s economic development for more than three

decades and would like to bring those experiences to Xiongan’s development, Jiang said.

“As Xiongan New Area is a national strategy and therefore receives attention and support from the highest levels, its devel

opment must demonstrate very high standards and utilize innovations and deep reforms in various areas,” he said.

Jiang added that Xiongan has attracted the attention of President Xi Jinping from the very beginning of its conception.

On Feb 23, 2017, Xi visited Hebei during the planning process of Xiongan.

“Xiongan New Area will be a legacy for our future generations. Following the principle of global vision, international stand

ards, Chinese characteristics and high goals, we should aim to build a demonstration area that practices new con

cepts for development,” Xi said at the meeting on the planning and development of Xiongan.

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Under the Boao Forum framework, Hainan has create

 of subforums, such as the ASEAN-China Governors/Mayors Dialogue, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Island Economy subforum, the South China Sea subfo

rum, the Roundtable Discussion for Overseas Chinese Business Leaders and Chinese think tanks, Wang said. “These diplo

matic platforms serve as new bridges to promote practical industrial cooperation between BRI countries.”

Activities at the Boao forum this year will highlight land and sea interconnectivity between BRI count

ries. Invitations will be sent to overseas participants to share in building a pilot free trade zone in Hainan.

Hong Kong youth groups will be invited to Hainan to see space satellite launch facilities, deep-sea science

and technology, seed breeding and other fields. Invitations will be extended to young people from ASEAN countries, Lan

cang-Mekong river nations and BRI countries to promote people-to-people understanding, Wang said.

“Hainan will ensure that the Boao Forum for Asia continues to promote greater coope

ration in healthcare, tourism, education, technology, tropical agriculture and the seed industry,” Wang said.

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