President hails US high school students’ roles

Mandarin learners encouraged to play parts in fostering bilateral friendship

President Xi Jinping encouraged a group of United States high-school students to boost

friendship between China and the US as he replied to their letter written to him in Chinese.

“I hope you will make the best of your time, study hard and contribute y

our part to a deeper friendship between the people of our two countries,” Xi wrote in th

e letter, saying the young generations represent the future of the Sino-US friendship.

Over 40 students from Niles North High School in the state of Illinois who are studyi

ng Mandarin Chinese recently wrote to Xi, asking about his work, life and hobbies.

They told the Chinese leader in the letter that they are studying Mandarin, and they love the Chinese language, music and cuisine.

In his written response, Xi expressed gratitude to the students for their letter, and said he

can feel from the letter their love of the Chinese language as well as their interest in Chinese culture.

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Two Chinese nationals were confirmed killed, the

Chinese Embassy in Colombo said.The embassy is verifying the number of Chinese injured in the attacks.

Earlier information from the embassy said that four Chinese nationals were injured

in the multiple church and hotel explosions that ripped through the island nation on the Easter day.

The Chinese Embassy has activated an emergency response mechanism immediately a

fter the blasts, and embassy officials have visited the injured who were in hospital for treatment.

Curfew and ban on social media imposed

The government has imposed a nationwide curfew from 6 pm Sunday to 6 am local time on Monday.

The Sri Lankan government has also imposed a temporary ban on social media to prevent the spread of false information.

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ina moor at a port in Zhanjiang during the ASEAN-China Ma

China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and latest nuclear submarines, destroyers and fighter jets will join the parade, Qiu said.

“Some vessels will make their debut for the first time,” Qiu added.

Altogether 32 Chinese vessels and 39 warplanes will take part in the event, according to Qiu.

The vessels will sail in six groups, namely, those of submar

ines, destroyers, frigates, landing ships, auxiliary ships, and aircraft carrier.

The planes will fly in 10 echelons, showcasing aircraft for early warning, reconnaissance, anti-submarine patrol, as wel

l as bombers, fighters, carrier-based fighters, and carrier-based helicopters, Qiu said.

More than 60 countries will send delegations to join multinational naval even

ts marking the anniversary, and over 30 countries of them will send major navy leaders to participate, according to Qiu.

Nearly 20 foreign vessels of various capabilities, including destro

yers, frigates and landing ships, will join Chinese vessels in the naval parade, show

ing to the world the “firm determination to safeguard peace and seek development with joint efforts,” Qiu said.

Organizing multinational naval parades is a unique ceremonial activity of navies, according to Qiu.

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Much work remains in Sino-US trade negotiations

China and the United States have made new progress in negotiating the text of an econom

ic and trade deal, but much work remains to be done, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

Negotiating teams from the two countries are hashing out the text of the deal, including

an enforcement mechanism, on the basis of mutual respect and benefit, said Gao Feng, ministry spokesman.

The remarks came as the world’s two biggest economies have been i

ntensifying their consultations and aiming to break the deadlock in a timely manner.

In the most recent round of trade consultations, the negotiators discussed technolo

gy transfers, protection of intellectual property rights, nontariff measures, the service sector, agriculture, tra

de imbalances and enforcement mechanisms, according to earlier reports.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China said in a recent white paper that the US business commu

nity in China, long an advocate of good bilateral relations, can no longer be relied on to be a positive anchor.

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The most recent incident was Saturday in Jinjiang, Fujian

when the late Qing Dynasty residence of Wu Lu, the province’s last zhuangyuan (top scorer on imperial examinations), was damaged.

Fire this year also destroyed a bridge dating from four centuries ago in Nanping, Fuji

an, a Qing Dynasty residence in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, and an office structure from the 1930s in Fuzhou, Jiangxi.

The operators of the sites hit by fire will be responsible for the dam

age, said the heritage administration. “Electrical faults and loose supervision over the use of fire

during renovation are the main reasons” for the damage, the administration’s statement said.

Though the fire at Notre Dame is under investigation, Frenc

h officials said they suspect its source might have been related to restoration work on the cathedral.

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The lawsuit accused Liu and JD on six counts of false im

prisonment, civil assault and battery, as well as sexual assault or batter

y, seeking damages in excess of $50,000, according to a report from Reuters.

The court filing said JD is “vicariously liable” for Liu’s behavior as his alleged actions happened while

he was “seemingly” at work-related activities, and the assault and battery began in the presence of two other JD employees.

“We have not yet reviewed the complaint and are not going to comment on pending litigation, but based on the Hennepin County A

ttorney’s declination to charge a case against our client and our belief in his innocence, we feel strongly that this suit

is without merit and will vigorously defend against it,” Liu’s attorney Jill Brisbois said in a written statement.

Peter Walsh, an attorney for JD, said in a statement while it was not prepared to com

ment at this time, the company would vigorously fight against these “meritless claims”.

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Lu Zhenwang, CEO of Shanghai-based Wanqing Consul

ltancy, said: “The lawsuit against Liu will bring damages to the image and reputation of JD, hav

e an impact on investors’ confidence, and cause fluctuations in its share price. Moreover, emp

loyees’ trust in the company may also be affected as the Beijing-based tech heavyweight is laying off staff to cut costs.”

Shen Meng, director of boutique investment bank Chanson & Co, said Liu’s case won’t chan

ge his actual control over JD, which is now making some innovations to reassure investors. Liu owns

15.8 percent of JD’s stock and controls nearly 80 percent of the company’s voting rights.

Liu was detained in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on suspicion of criminal sexual c

onduct on Aug 31 and later released without charge or bail. He returned to China on Sept 3.

In December, Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, the prosecutorial office handling the case announced that no sexual as

sault charges would be brought against Liu as prosecutors could not prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

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Military drill near Taiwan ‘necessary’sman for the State Coun

Mainland slams response by island’s leader, who called exercise ‘a threat’

A spokesman for the Chinese mainland said a military drill by Chinese bombers and warships around Taiwan on Monday was routin

e and slammed the island’s administration for misleading the Taiwan people and hyping tensions.

On Monday, various warships, bombers and reconnaissance aircr

aft of the People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command conducted “necessary train

ing” around Taiwan as a means to test the joint assault capability between different branches of the military, Senior Colone

l Zhang Chunhui, the theater command’s spokesman, said in a statement on Monday.

The exercise took place in waters east of Taiwan and was part of a scheduled PLA exercise, he said.

“It is completely within the normal legal rights of a sovereign cou

ntry, and it’s beneficial for maintaining peace and security in the Taiwan Straits,” Zhang said.

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Chinese people are deeply sad about the fire, just as th

He said he believes that with the efforts of the French people and supp

ort from the international community, Notre Dame will be repaired and regain its glory.

The fire broke out around 6:30 pm on the roof of the cathedral, which was covered in scaffoldi

ng. The blaze spread quickly and destroyed the wooden interior before causing the spire to collapse.

It took more than 400 firefighters over 12 ho

urs to put out the fire, and the main structure and two bell towers remained standing.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, though officials said it could be linked to renovation work. Investigators were eag

er to question the workmen in an effort to determine the cause of the fire, according to media reports.

Visiting the scene of the fire in Paris, Macron vowed an immediat

e fundraising effort to rebuild the landmark, calling for international contributions.

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Customs makes its biggest tusk bustuangpu Customs Distri

China’s customs officers have seized 2,748 ivory tusks weighing a combined 7.48 metric tons after cracking a major smuggling case.

It was the biggest haul of tusks ever recorded in an anti-smuggling bust conducted in

dependently by customs officers, the General Administration of Customs said on Monday.

The case was solved in March after a combined operation of differ

ent customs offices lasting three months. A total of 238 custo

ms officers took part from cities around the country, including Hefei, Nanjing, Beijing, Fuzhou and Qingdao.

Twenty suspects were detained for further investigation, accor

ding to Sun Zhijie, director of the administration’s anti-smuggling bureau.

Sun said the tusks, illegally shipped from African countries, were imported into China labeled as wood.

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