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Here are today's picks from our editors.
China to establish modern fiscal, taxation, financial system in Xiongan
China will increase fiscal input to the Xiongan New Area for the construction and maintenance of infrastructure, interest payment on local government debt and industry fund injection, according to a guideline on deepening reforms and expanding opening-up in Xiongan, which was issued on Thursday.
The government will also innovate taxation policies to encourage high-tech companies to move from Beijing to Xiongan, broaden channels to raise capital for Xiongan development, and establish a stable and long-term fund-raising mechanism.
The government also supports the establishment of the Xiongan Bank and will establish a financial supervision framework consistent with international rules in Xiongan New Area, while preventing systematic and regional financial risks. (Xinhua)
Annual trade between China, B&R countries reaches 1.3 trln USD: MOC
Trade volume between China and countries along the Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative totaled $1.3 trillion last year, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday.
This marked a year-on-year growth of 16.3 percent, 3.7 percentage points higher than China's trade growth in 2018.
China exported goods worth 704.73 billion dollars to B&R countries last year, up 10.9 percent year on year, while importing goods from them worth 563.07 billion dollars, rising 23.9 percent year on year.
China will further open up the market to share more opportunities with B&R countries and promote mutual opening-up among them, said MOC spokesperson Gao Feng. (Xinhua)
Sultan Abdullah named new Malaysian King
Malaysia's Conference of Rulers named Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah as the country's 16th king on Thursday, who serves as the constitutional head of state, state news agency Bernama reported.
Abdullah will be officially installed as king on January 31, replacing his predecessor Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan state who resigned on January 6. (Xinhua)
China to become world's largest retail market in 2019: report
China may overtake the US as the world's biggest retail market this year, according to a report published Wednesday by research firm eMarketer.
The report predicted that China's total retail sales will grow 7.5 percent and reach $5.6 trillion dollars in 2019, while that of the US will grow 3.3 percent to $5.5trillion dollars.
The sale boom, according to the report, is a result of China's rising incomes and thriving E-commerce. (Xinhua)
European divisions beyond Brexit on display in Davos
Europe's divisions were on display Thursday at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, with key leaders arguing over the region's big issues, from Brexit to the Italian populist government's tough approach to the EU.
The Italian government has decided to ramp up spending far beyond EU expectations and only backed off slightly after the EU threatened legal action.
The prime minister of Poland, which has had run-ins itself with the EU over its moves to overhaul the judiciary, replied that Italy is not being treated in the same manner as France. France's relatively high deficit over the past few years was widely seen as being tolerated by the EU. (AP)
Russia opposes US intervention in Venezuelan affairs
The Russian Foreign Ministry criticized the US on Thursday for interfering in Venezuelan internal affairs by recognizing the opposition leader as the "interim president."
The immediate recognition of opposition leader Juan Guaido by the US and some regional countries is aimed at aggravating the split in the Venezuelan society and escalating the conflict, the ministry said in a statement.
US President Donald Trump said Wednesday that Washington had recognized Guaido as the nation's "interim president," after Nicolas Maduro was inaugurated as leader of the Latin American country earlier this month.
"The formation of an alternative decision-making center is a direct path to chaos and the destruction of the foundations of the Venezuelan statehood," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
It accused Washington of totally disregarding the norms and principles of international law and attempting to play the role of "self-proclaimed arbiter of the destinies" of other nations.
"We appeal to sensible Venezuelan politicians in opposition to the legitimate government of Maduro not to become pawns in someone else's chess game," the ministry said. (Xinhua)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
What element is mixed with iron to make cast iron?
Today's quote is from Roman poet Horace (65 BC - 8 BC).
"A picture is a poem without words."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Lance Crayon, Elaine Yue Lin, and Chelle Wenqian Zeng.)