investment in environment-friendly urban mas

 transit. According to NBS preliminary estimates, the share of consumption of clean energy such as natural gas, hydropo

wer, nuclear power and wind power in total energy consumption in the first quarter was 1.5 percentage points hi

gher than that of the same period last year. Energy consumption per unit of GDP went down by 2.7 percent year-on-year.

Total investment in fixed aassets grew by 6.3 percent, with private invest

ment growing at 6.4 percent, slightly faster than the overall number. This is es

pecially significant in the light of last year’s fears that private investment in the econo

my might collapse. So, the government’s efforts to strengthen the private sector appear to have borne fruit.

Investment in high-tech manufacturing rose by 11.4 percent and investme

nt in high-tech services rose 19.3 percent, both far higher than overall investment gro]

wth. This shows that the shift toward advanced manufacturing and services is well underway.

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Medical experts said bills for patients requiring 29

of the 55 rare disease medicines available on the Chinese mainland

have been partly or fully covered by the country’s medical insurance system.

The average medical bill for rare disease patients is 200,000 yuan ($

29,700) a year and more than 40 percent of patients have received no medical tre

atment due to the high prices, according to Li Linkang, China Alliance of Rate Diseases executive director.

Biogen, the United Sates-based pharmaceutical compa

ny that developed the drug, said that it is talking to the C

hinese government, the medical and patient communities, and charitable orga

nizations in a bid to establish a co-payment system to make the drug available to more patients.

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Detailed information on the foundation and the laurea

Peng Yuxing, vice-governor of Southwest China’s Sichuan province, is under disciplinary and supe

rvisory investigation for suspected severe violations of disciplines and laws, an official statement said Sunday.

The investigation is being conducted by the Communist Party of China Central Co

mmission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission.

Peng, a Sichuan native, was born in 1962. He graduated from Sichuan University with a master’s degree in 1985 and in July 1992 r

eceived his science doctorate from Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, specializing in polymers and materials.

He pursued a postdoctoral degree at ExxonMobil Chemical France from July 1992 to December 1993.

Peng then served in leadership positions at the Chengdu Institute of Organic Chemistry under the Chinese Academy of Sciences from 1997 to 2009.

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The BRI originated in China but its opportunities an

 outcomes belong to the world, Xi said, adding that the second forum sen

ds a clear message to the world: The BRI will have a brighter future as the circle of its

supporters expands, as good partners increase and as the quality of cooperation improves.

Around 5,000 people from some 150 countries and about 90 international organizations attended the forum.

Participants hailed the BRI as a great initiative for economic cooperation, saying it is conducive t

o promoting connectivity and enhancing international cooperation in fields such as trade, investment and sustainable development.Calling Belt and Road con

struction a path to common prosperity, Xi said that early results from the BRI op

en up more space for global economic growth, build a platform for international cooperation and make new co

ntributions to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

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The forum helped countries upgrade their concept

 of cooperation, defined key areas and strengthened the mechanism to seek high-quality development of the BRI, he said.

Leaders reached wide-ranging agreement on high-quality cooperation on the BRI at the leaders’ roundtable on Saturday after an i

n-depth exchange of views on issues such as connectivity, policy integration and sustainable development.

They supported comprehensive infrastructure connectivity as a way to foster economic growth and to build high-q

uality, reliable, resilient and sustainable infrastructure, according to a joint communique issued after the roundtable.

All parties involved supported strengthening synergies in development policies using the principle

of extensive consultations, joint contributions for shared benefits and building even closer partnerships, the joint communique said.

The leaders also upheld green and sustainable growth and agreed to enhance cooperation in areas such as environ

mental protection, circular economy and clean energy, according to the communique.

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Xi said China’s moves to boost opening-up follow from

 an independent choice based on the objective need of the country’s reform and development.

This is helpful in promoting high-quality growth, meeting the people’s need

s for a better life and promoting peace, stability and development of the world, he said.

China also hopes that other countries will create a good investment environment, treat Chinese enterpris

es, students and scholars equally and create a friendly environment for their normal international exchange activities, Xi said.

Xi pledged to take stronger measures to promote international cooperation in protecting intellectual pro

perty, which he said is not only crucial to protecting the legal rights of companies but also to promoting high-quality growth.

China will enhance policy coordination with the world’s major economic entities and j

ointly promote the robust, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth of the global economy, he said

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Xi stressed the importance of fulfilling bilateral and

 multilateral trade agreements, saying that Chinese people value a promise as much as tons of gold.

China pays close attention to building a law-based government, abolishing improper r

ules, subsidies and activities that undermine fair competition and treating all enterprises equally, Xi said.

The president highlighted building infrastructure of high quality, sustain

ability, risk resilience, reasonable pricing, inclusiveness and accessibility under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Infrastructure is a bottleneck in the development of many nations

, Xi said, and building infrastructure can help countries give full play to their ad

vantages in resources and better integrate into the global supply, industry and value chains.

Xi called on countries to uphold multilateralism, promote green devel

opment and fight corruption with zero tolerance in the process of building the Belt and Road.

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China welcomes financial institutions around the worl

 to participate in financing Belt and Road projects, Xi said, adding that multiple participants will bring common benefits.

Xi announced that China will support 5,000 people from innovative sectors in Belt and Road

countries in conducting exchanges, training programs and joint research in the next five years.

Xi called for joint efforts to facilitate trade and investment and oppose protectio

nism, saying that the flow of products, funds, technology and people can propel forces for economic growth.

According to Xi, more than 150 countries and internat

ional organizations have signed cooperation documents to jointly build the Belt and Road.

The BRI has opened new space for global economic growth and

built a new platform for international trade and investment, Xi said.

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Chris Rowley, a visiting professor from Oxford Unive

rsity’s Kellogg College in England, called opening to more foreign investment a very important development.

“Of course this will expose both inward investors and indigenous organiza

tions to some stark differences in management and doing business between them, which in tu

rn requires more globally effective leaders who are less ethnocentric and more culturally aware,” he said.

Sikhumbuzo Zondi, a research assistant at the Institute for Global

Dialogue associated with the University of South Africa, said another important aspect of Xi’s

opening address was the desire to invest more resources in scientific innovation and technology.

The aim is to develop technologies and business models that will foster new growth an

d development. To do this, China is committed to spearheading the Belt and Road Science, Technology and In

novation Cooperation Action Plan to advance information and communications technology infras

tructure development with the aim of improving internet connectivity and security, Zondi said.

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Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institut

e of International Affairs, noted Xi’s emphasis on high-quality development, free t

rade and people-to-people bonds, “all of which are sorely needed around the world”.

“The shift toward high-quality development is a natural extension of what China has been doing for the past few ye

ars. Now that the BRI is five years old, it’s about time to upgrade quality joint development,” he said.

“China is trying to address the concerns that have been raised sinc

e the last Belt and Road Forum two years ago. One of these concerns is the need for infr

astructure projects to be more responsive to the local circumstances of BRI member countries.”

Duncan Freeman, a research fellow at the EU-China Research Centre at t

he College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, said infrastructure is important for economic gro

wth, so building infrastructure and building connectivity and efficient infrastructure are important.

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