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Shanghai, China’s financial hub, prevailed as expats’ fa

favorite city to work and live in for the sixth year in a row, followed by Beijing, Hefei, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, S

uzhou, Qingdao, Tianjin, Xi’an and Wuhan.

The campaign also looked at cities with the most potential to attract expats, naming X

iamen, Nanjing, Urumqi, Guangzhou, Xuzhou, Haikou, Kunming, Jinan, Dalian and Chengdu.

In recent years, China has implemented a work permit system for foreigners to come to Chi

na and a visa system for expats. This has promoted the government affairs, policies, work and living

environment of Chinese cities, allowing more expats to live and work better in China.

The survey has been conducted for nine years, starting in 2010. The A

mazing China 2018 poll took place from November to December. Results were anal

yzed from 239 signed votes from top expert panels, 2,815 votes from foreign experts, and 94,849 votes from internet users.

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The meetings on Thursday and Friday are all part of

f the 8th Summit of Central and Eastern European Countries & China.

At the China-CEEC economy and trade forum before the leaders meeting, Li called for strengthening trade facilitation and exp

anding two-way opening-up of markets. China is willing to expand imports of goods from CEE nations, particu

larly agricultural products that cater to the demand of Chinese consumers, he said. Trade of farm goods, machine

ry and electric devices should be further boosted and logistics sped up between the trading partners, he said.

Li said trade between China and the 16 CEE nations rose by 21 percent to a record high, de

spite a global trade slowdown. China is willing to strengthen cooperation with CEE nations in infrast

ructure based on market rules and following European Union rules and standards, he said.

Li advocated the great potential for trade and economic cooperation between China a

nd the 16 countries. China-CEEC cooperation is a helpful addition to China-EU ties, he said.

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BRI winning hearts and minds in Azerbaijanative to

“The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 has touc

hed the hearts of the Azerbaijani people, as the restoration of the ancient Silk Road i

s for the benefit of the entire world, and the development and prosperity of all countries,” Hajiyev said.

“The Belt and Road Initiative is not imposing anything on anyon

e, it just provides a framework for mutually beneficial cooperation,” he added. The fundam

ental features of the Belt and Road Initiative are that every country knows how to de

velop in their own way. As China and Azerbaijan have a strong traditional friendship, Hajiyev believes the init

iative will provide immense opportunities to bring China and Azerbaijan closer.

According to Hajiyev, Azerbaijan fully supports the initiative, and

is building new bridges of cooperation and frien

dship. “We are looking forward to the second Belt and Road Forum for International Co

operation at the end of this month, and Azerbaijan will actively participate in this high-level event,” he said.

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to ease permanent residency requirements in large cities

China said Monday it will ease the requirements for permanent residency in many large cities as part of its new urbanization push.

Restrictions on permanent residence permits should be scrapped in cities with populations betw

een 1 million and 3 million, according to a document outlining key urbanization tasks this year release

d by the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planner.

For cities with populations of 3 million to 5 million, the qualifications for such permits should be “fully relaxed,” and the restrict

ions for certain key groups of people to get such permits should be removed, the document said.

Previously, the country has already gradually abolished permanent residency r

estrictions in small and medium-sized cities and towns with populations below 1 million.

The NDRC document also demanded cities with populations abo

ve 5 million to improve their policies and drastically expand the scale of permanent residency.

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According to iiMedia Research, a market consultancy, cross-

-border online shopping in China grew by 20.6 percent year-on-year to 7.6 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) in sales in 2017.

The nation is encouraging cross-border e-commerce transactions by easing the annual cap

on cross-border online purchases and adding categories of imports to the duty-free list, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Starting from this year, the annual duty-free quota for cross-borde

r e-commerce purchases for individual buyers will be lifted to 26,000 yuan from the current 20,000 yuan.

“The livestreaming form, as a new operation model for online marketplaces, could settle

the problem of information asymmetry,” said Chen Tao, an analyst with internet consultancy Analysys in Beijing.

Both Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s Taobao and its rival J

D, two of China’s biggest online shopping sites, have launched their own livestreaming platforms.

Shop owners hire livestreamers with large fan bases to help promote their products, and meanwhile, a link to the purchasing page hovers on the streaming screen.

Monica Zhang, who lives in France with her husband, opened an online store on Taobao. She became a livestreamer last year.

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Luan Shengjun, founder of the restaurant chain Kum

Canteen, which specializes in Japanese food, said that in each of its outlets about 10 seats are spec

ially designed for solo diners, where they can watch chefs making sushi and sashimi at close hand. The r

estaurants also offer small-sized portions of classic dishes so that solo diners can taste a variety of food.

“If solo customers feel like talking, we encourage our chefs to respond enthusiastically. For example, they intro

duce customers to the process of making food and sometimes even have a drink with them,” he said.

Chinese singles, many of whom are well-educated and financially independent, also like traveling alone.

Figures from travel service provider Tuniu.com show that solo travel h

as become increasingly popular with those born in the 1990s. Last year, the number of pe

ople born in that decade who traveled alone rose by 10 percent compared with 2017.

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Defense spending poses no threat to other nations, spokesm

China’s defense expenditure is for the protection of the nation’s sover

eignty, security and territorial integrity and does not pose any threat to other countries, ac

cording to Zhang Yesui, spokesman for the second session of the 13th National People’s Congress.

Zhang said at a news conference on Monday in Beijing that China always sticks

to the path of peaceful development and follows policies that are purely defensive in nature.

“To judge whether a country poses threat to other

nations, the key lies in its foreign and defense policies rather than the increase in its defense budget,” he said.

He made the remarks in response to a question on China’s perspective change to its defense budget this year.

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In addition to sharing resources, the Chinese mainland has

stepped up efforts in recent years to treat Taiwan compatriots equitably. Last year, the mainland released 31 measures related to ec

onomic and cultural exchanges and cooperation with Taiwan, offering the same opportunities as m

ainland residents enjoy in education, doing business and living on the mainland.

To date, 72 local authorities in 25 provinces, autonomous

regions and municipalities have formulated implementation measures, with many pub

lishing more details, including policy interpretations, public services and contacts, An said.

Over the past year, more than 2,000 enterprises from Taiwan on the mai

nland have benefited from a new favorable tax policy. More than 100 Taiwan companies ha

ve received special funds to support green, intelligent manufacturing and upgrades. A number of companies joined m

jor mainland projects including Beijing’s new airport and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.

More young people in Taiwan have chosen to pursue their dreams on the mainland, with the number of students w

ho apply for university admission or who seek careers on the mainland showing steady growth, An said.

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On Friday, a standoff occurred between a local indigenous comm

  unity and the military over aid delivery near Gran Sabana, on the Brazil-Venezuela border, said the town’s mayor, Emilio Go

nzalez. He told CNN the military opened fire on an indigenous group trying to facilitate the passage of aid into Venezuela.

  Gonzalez said soldiers shot and killed a 34-year-old indigenous Venezuelan woman and injured 17 others.

  National Assembly member Americo De Grazia said on his official Twitter feed that two

people had died. The second victim was an indigenous man, according to De Grazia.

  Gonzalez said indigenous guards detained 27 Venezuelan military members. Venez

uela’s Ministry of Defense told CNN it had no information on the incident.

  Tensions escalate over aid

  Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who invoked a constitutional provision last month to declare himself acting

president, condemned the incident in a tweet Friday, saying such acts by the military “will not go unpunished.”

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MPs Anne Coffey, Angela Smith, Chris Leslie, Mike Gapes

Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker and Chuka Umunna announce their resignation from the La

bour Party at a press conference on February 18, 2019 in London, England.

Speaking to the BBC on Tuesday after Ryan’s resignation from the

party, Labour MP Chris Williamson said that he had never known Labour to be “more united

” than it was now, adding it was “regrettable that a minority of MPs” were out of step with the popular mood in the country.

Though many within the party have publicly moved to criticize Ryan’s decision

, her departure will likely fuel concerns that further resignations could follow in the weeks ahead.
In a state

ment after the initial resignations Monday, Corbyn sai

d he was “disappointed that these MPs have felt unable to continue to work together for th

e Labour policies that inspired millions at the last election and saw us increase our vote by the largest share since 1945.”

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