CHINA Fresh Start: Podcast News (1/10/2019 Thu.)

CHINA

Fresh Start: Podcast News (1/10/2019 Thu.)

People's Daily app

05:37, January 10, 2019

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Welcome to Fresh Start.

This is People's Daily app.

Here are today's picks from our editors. 

Xi Jinping, Kim Jong-un hold talks, reaching important consensus

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Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chinese president, on Tuesday held talks with Kim Jong-un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), who arrived in Beijing on the same day for a visit to China.

In a cordial and friendly atmosphere, the two leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on China-DPRK relations and issues of common concern, and reached important consensus.

The two sides agreed to make joint efforts to push for continuous new development of China-DPRK relations in the new era, constantly advance the political settlement process of the Korean Peninsula issue, bring more benefits to people of the two countries, and make positive contribution to peace, stability, prosperity and development of the region and the world.

China gives more tax breaks to small firms

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China has decided to roll out a new batch of inclusive tax-cutting measures for small and micro businesses, with the goal of saving them a total of 200 billion yuan (about $30 billion) each year.

The policies will include substantial drops in business income tax rates and a considerable increase in the tax threshold, according to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

Small firms with taxable revenues of less than 1 million yuan will see the tax rate fall to 5 percent, and those with revenues above 1 million yuan but lower than 3 billion yuan will have a rate of 10 percent.

More than 95 percent of businesses can enjoy the tax reduction, and 98 percent of which are private enterprises. (Xinhua) 

China, US agree to maintain close contact after vice-ministerial level talks conclude

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The latest round of vice-ministerial level negotiations on trade between China and the US has concluded, according to a statement issued by China's Ministry of Commerce on Thursday. 

The statement said both sides had "extensive, in-depth, and detailed communication" on trade and structural issues, adding that they agreed to maintain close contact.

China and the US held vice-ministerial level consultations on economic and trade issues from Monday to Wednesday in Beijing. The talks were initially scheduled to last for two days but were extended by an additional half day. (CGTN) 

British PM loses key vote on Brexit procedure in parliament

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Britain's government suffered another setback Wednesday as MPs voted to force it to announce within three sitting days what steps it will take next if its Brexit deal is rejected by parliament next week as appears likely.

The contentious amendment was passed by 308 votes in favor to 297 against, a day after MPs delivered another blow to Prime Minister Theresa May by voting to scupper a no-deal Brexit. (AFP) 

Pence says Democrats 'unwilling to negotiate'

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US Vice President Mike Pence says Democrats were "unwilling to even negotiate" an end to the partial government shutdown and the standoff over President Donald Trump's desire for a border barrier.

Pence spoke outside the West Wing after a contentious meeting Wednesday between Trump and congressional leaders.

Pence says, "I think the president made his position very clear today that there will be no deal without a wall."

Pence says Trump asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi whether she would be willing to agree to funding for a wall or a barrier on the southern border if he re-opened the government quickly.

Pence says, "When she said 'No', the president said 'Goodbye'." (AP) 

Iran condemns EU sanctions on ministry, individuals

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Iran's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday strongly condemned the recent European Union (EU) sanctions on a unit of Iranian Intelligence Ministry and two Iranian individuals.

The EU announced on Tuesday that it would place a unit of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry and two of its staff on the EU terrorist list and would freeze their financial assets for alleged assassination plans in Europe.

The decision comes after Denmark's government said earlier that it suspected an Iranian intelligence service of carrying out an assassination plot against an Iranian dissident on its soil last year. (Xinhua) 

Nearly 7 mln Chinese to travel abroad during Lunar New Year

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Over 400 million Chinese will travel during the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, among them nearly 7 million will travel abroad, according to a report released on Wednesday by Ctrip, a Shanghai-based online travel agency.

The report said people from over 100 Chinese cities had booked to travel to nearly 500 destinations across over 90 countries and regions.

Thailand, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore are among the most popular destinations while Nordic countries, the United Arab Emirates and Spain have seen the fastest growth of Chinese visitors. (Xinhua) 

Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.

And now for the Question of the Day:

Which animals metaphorically constitute a heavy rainstorm?

(Answer: Cats and Dogs.)

Today's quote is from a Roman historian Tacitus (55-120).

"Custom adapts itself to expediency."

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Brian Lowe, and Elaine Yue Lin.)

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