China’s foreign direct investment up 6.5% in Q1

China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) totaled 242.28 billion yuan in the first quarter of t

his year, up 6.5 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Commerce said Thursday.

FDI in China from non-financial sectors reached $35.8 billio

n in the first three months, up 3.7 percent year-on-year.

Investment from South Korea, the United States and Germany in China m

eanwhile increased 79.6 percent, 71.3 percent and 86.1 percent year-on-year, respectively.

Foreign capital flowing to the country’s high-tech manufacturing s

ector surged 14.8 percent year-on-year to 25.97 billion yuan during the same period.

March’s FDI amounted to 95.17 billion yuan, up eight percent year-on-year.

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Paris fire sends alarm on relics protectionhedral in Pa

An inferno that destroyed the spire and a large portion of the wooden roof structure of the 12th-century Notre Dame Cathedral in Pa

ris on Monday reinforced a cautionary message to Chinese authorities about the need to better protect vulnerable heritage sites.

The National Cultural Heritage Administration held a staff meeting on Tuesday night at wh

ich officials discussed the Paris fire and six major fires that have taken place at Chinese cultural heritage sites this year.

“The fire at Notre Dame in Paris rang the warning bell for us,” Song Xi

nchao, deputy director of the administration, said in an interview on Tuesday.

“The safety of cultural heritage sites is a red line that can never be crossed. It’s a global issue,” he said.

The six fires were in Sichuan, Fujian, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang provinces, officials said.

On Jan 6, a hall at Yunyan Temple in Jiangyou, Sichuan province, burned down. On

Feb 2, a wooden family temple from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in Nanchang, Jiangxi, was destroyed by fire.

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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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From January to March, government tax income inc

creased by 5.4 percent year-on-year, 11.9 percentage points lower than that in the first quarter 2018.

Individual income tax decreased by 29.7 percent, the largest drop among three major tax item

s. Value-added tax growth has already slowed to 10.7 percent, down from 20.1 percent a year earlier.

Local government income from land sales fell 9.5 percent in the first three months, the Ministry of Finance said.

As the central bank has taken a pause in monetary easing, fiscal policy should remain pro

active to stabilize economic growth and ensure the recent rebound is not just a seasonal fluke, said economists.

Xu Xianchun, a former deputy director at the National Bureau of Statist

ics, said that fiscal policy should be implemented “with proper intensity and at the right time”, t

o prevent large fluctuations in the investment growth rate and negative impact on economic stability.

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Its partial loss is a terrible blow to a proud country

 and to the world more widely,” said Macfarlane, the King’s College historian.

A woman identified only as Marie, who has lived in Paris for 20 years, said: “This is a monument b

uilding that belongs to the story of Paris, to the story of France. … Notre Dame is our story, our culture, our spirit.”

An experiment conducted by Chinese and US scientists on improving monkeys’ cognitive function has been

found to follow international animal rights standards, according to the Chinese research institute.

The study implanted 11 rhesus macaque monkeys with copies of the human MCP

H1 gene, which scientists believe is crucial for humans’ brain development and evolution.

The project is led by researchers from the Kunming Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Acade

my of Sciences, who are working with researchers from the University of North Carolina.

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The monkeys implanted with human genes developed bett

better short-term memory and faster reaction times compared with the control group, acco

rding findings published March 27 in the China-based journal National Science Review.

The study also found that transgenic monkeys’ brains took longer to develop, in a similar fashion to humans.

The experiment has divided the scientific community however, with a number of Western scientists criticizing it as uneth

ical, while some went as far to suggest, perhaps ironically, that it could lead to a Planet of the Apes-type scenario.

The Kunming Institute of Zoology told China Daily in a statement that the experiment was ethically approved in 2010.

In 2015 the animal rights committee of Kunming Biomed International, a research organiza

tion specializing in nonhuman primates, also declared the animals were being treated humanely in every

step of the experiment, in accordance with domestic and international regulations, the statement said.

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In 2017 the institute’s bioethics review committee

n evaluated and approved the experiment before applying for National Natural Scie

nce Foundation of China funds, with the project gaining the foundation’s support.

“Experimenting on nonhuman primate models to research the brain’s cognitive function, de

velopment and related diseases have great scientific and medical values,” the statement said.

“For research purposes, there are precedents of scientists implanting human genes int

o lab animals such as mice, rats, and macaque monkeys, and these researchers have made great con

tributions to understanding life, disease mechanisms and clinical drug development.”

In 2008 US scientists implanted macaque monkeys with Huntington’s disease to further understand the condition and possib

ly identify a new form of treatment, with the project’s findings published in the journal Nature.

In 2009 Japanese scientists created the world’s first transgenic primates

and bred monkeys with a gene that made the animals’ skin glow a fluorescent green.

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Most of the ivory was hidden in an abandoned factory

by the smugglers, Sun said. Busts were made in several locations, which were not disclosed. The case is still under investigation.

Since early this year, 182 smuggling cases involving endangered species have been investigated, the administration said on Monday.

More than 500 tons of endangered animals and animal products were seized, 8.48 t

ons of which was ivory tusks or products made of ivory. In those cases, 171 suspects were detained.

The Chinese government suspended imports of ivory and all ivor

y products in 2015 and ended commercial processing and sale of ivory at the end of 2017.

The ban has had significant positive effects, with fewer people purchasing ivory, according to a report j

ointly released last year by the World Wildlife Fund and TRAFFIC, an NGO that tracks the global trade in wild animals.

“We will strengthen our anti-smuggling efforts, continuing to work with international organizations and depart

ments and allowing no tolerance of those illegal activities,” said Hu Wei, deputy director of the administration.

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Hu said the administration also will promote anti-smug

ling and wildlife protection knowledge among the public, and it welcomes public supervision or reports of smuggling.

As social networks and online stores have become increasingly important tools for wildlife s

mugglers, the administration has beefed up its anti-smuggling work online this year.

Customs officials are working on cases involving another 100 tons

of endangered wildlife and wildlife products, of which about 300 kilograms are tusks and ivory products.

Last year, the administration purchased advanced screening and detection equipment to improve th

e efficiency of its anti-smuggling work, according to Wang Wei, director of the administration’s ports supervision department.

People caught entering China with endangered wildlife or wildlife

products worth less than 200,000 yuan ($29,800) face up to five years in prison. If such contr

band goods are worth more than 1 million yuan, the penalty upon conviction is a minimum of 10 years in prison.

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Innovation links with Japan encouragedForeign Minis

Premier Li Keqiang called on China and Japan to boost cooperation in innovation to see more pra

gmatic outcomes, and to further work together in areas including finance, third-party markets and tourism.

The two countries should also create a fair and unbiased business environment for each other’s en

terprises, Li said in a meeting with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono in Beijing on Monday.

The meeting came after a China-Japan high-level economic dialogue,

co-chaired on Sunday by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Kono. The dia

logue, also attended by ministers of agriculture, industry, commerce and environ

mental protection from both countries, was also the first to be held in China between the two nations since 2010.

Li congratulated attendees on the successful hosting of the dialogue in his opening remarks, noting that bilateral relation

s are back on the right track and have seen new progress thanks to joint efforts of the two sides starting last year.

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