Currently, 13 countries have been involved in the proje

roject, including Russia, Egypt and Algeria, and 17 domestic research teams, including on

e from University of Science and Technology of China, have started research on the site, Zheng noted.

The site will “offer research teams with observation equipmen

t, support for outdoor observation and data sharing services”, he said.

Wu Zhongliang, director of the administra

tion’s Institute of Earthquake Forecasting, said the experimental site will help for

m a “united front” at the national and international level to work on earthquake forecasting.

Referring to earthquake forecasting as a hard nut to crack, Wu said the work can

not see marked progress just in a few days, but forecasting capability will be improved a

s technology develops. “If it’s a war between humans and earthquakes, it’s us that will finally win,” he said

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As an important power promoting human develop

ment and progress, international communicators should further play up their special role in advancing unders

tanding, deepening friendship and expanding cooperation in the fast-changing world. They should push world pro

gress in the right historical direction while promoting exchanges among civilizations and mutual learning.

First, we should act as promoters of exchanges among human civilizations. The mutual depende

nce, exchanges and learning of different civilizations give shape to the abundant and colorful world tod

ay. As the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity points out, cultural diversity “is the common herit

age of humanity”. The diversity of human civilizations is a basic characteristic of the world, as well as a sour

ce of the progress of humanity. In turbulent international situations, to maintain world peace, devel

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The Belt and Road Initiative, which originated in C

 China but belongs to the world, has become an open and inclusive platform for international cooperation and a well-recog

nized global public good thanks to the concerted efforts of the parties involved, Xi said.

Calling think tanks significant forces for Belt and Road constructi

on, the president said developing think tank exchanges and cooperation helps deepen mu

tual trust, unite consensus and promote the BRI to achieve high-level development.

He expressed the hope that the think tank network would develop in-depth academic exchanges to promote solid coope

ration under the BRI and contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Also on Wednesday, a ceremony to mark the release of the English and French editions

of a compilation of remarks by Xi on the Belt and Road was held in Beijing by the State Council Information Office.

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China does not own the Belt and Road Initiative. Nor doe

 it want to. From the start, Beijing has been accentuating the desirabi

lity of voluntary participation, consultations on equal footings, a joint construction proces

s and fair sharing of subsequent dividends.VLADIVOSTOK, Russia – Top leader of the Democratic People’s Rep

ublic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong-un arrived in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladiv

ostok in his train on Wednesday for the first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

Kim’s armored train stopped at the Khasan railway station

of the territory at 10:30 am local time (0030 GMT) and he was rec

eived by the territory’s governor Oleg Kozhemyako, Russian Minister for the

Development of the Far East and the Arctic Alexander Kozlov, Russian Deputy For

eign Minister Igor Morgulov, and Russian Ambassador to the DPRK Alexander Matsegora.

“I am glad to be on Russian soil,” said Kim, according to the pr

ess release. Kim said that this will not be his last trip to Russia.

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Meanwhile, massive rescue operations are underway at

the explosion sites, the police said.Television footage showed ambulances r

ushing the injured to the Colombo National Hospital, the Batticaloa Hospital in

the east and the Negombo Hospital on the outskirts of the capital where the explosions took place.

There has been no claim of responsibility so far for the multiple blasts.

In just one church, St. Sebastian’s in Katuwapitiya, north o

f Colombo, more than 50 people had been killed, a police official told Reuters.

Media reported 25 people were also killed in an attack on a church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called a national security council meeting at his home for later in the day.

One of the explosions was at St Anthony’s Church in Kochcikade, Colombo.

St. Sebastian’s church posted pictures of destruction inside the church on its Fa

cebook page, showing blood on pews and the floor, and requested help from the public.

Out of Sri Lanka’s total population of around 22 million, 70 percent are Buddh

ist, 12.6 percent Hindu, 9.7 percent Muslim, and 7.6 percent Christian, according to the country’s 2012 cen

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The country will host over 5,000 participants from mor

than 150 countries, including 37 heads of state or government, for the thre

e-day event starting on Thursday, Wang said, adding the forum, themed “Belt and Road Coop

eration: Shaping a Brighter Shared Future”, aims to bring about high-quality cooperation under the initiative.

President Xi Jinping will deliver a keynote speech at the op

ening ceremony of the forum, and chair the leaders’ round-table summit, Wang said.

Saying the BRI has delivered real benefits to participating countries, Wang stated the hats like “debt traps” cannot be put onto t

he head of the Belt and Road, and this is not something any participating country would recognize.

He added that international communities should base their understandings and comments about the BRI on the facts.

Trade volume between China and the countries participating in the B

RI has exceeded $6 trillion, the number of investment is over $80 billion and arou

nd 300,000 jobs have been created for the people from the countries involved in the initiative, Wang said.

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he monetary policy should “maintain strategic focu

cus”, keeping it prudent while the liquidity should be at a reasonably adequate level, it said.

Financial policies are required to further support small and private companies, and fun

ding through the capital market is supported by the authorities, according to the statement.

The central bank had skipped open market operations for 15 conse

cutive working days until Monday. “Reasonable and adequate liquidity in the banking syste

m” was the main reason for the absence of open market operations, according to a statement from the central bank.

To cut or not to cut the RRR, a strong tool for liquidity adjustm

ent, has become a hot topic since April, not only for investors, but also for policy advisers.

Divergent opinions are spreading among a broader group of market observer

s. The market is trying to get more indications from the monetary authority, although the C

hinese central bank barely sends any hints on possible monetary policy operations before taking action.

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rowds head back after Qingming holiday travel

Travelers on laid-back trips for the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday crowded to return home on Sunday, China Railway Corp said.

According to the State-owned railway provider, about 14.54 million visits would be made on

Sunday, the last day of the three-day break, and 732 trains were added to deal with the rush.

High-tech assistance was available to travelers, such as facial recognition speeding up entry and visual-reality navigati

on in 45 railway stations operated by the Wuhan branch of China Railway Corp.

Tomb Sweeping Day, or Qingming, is a traditional holiday for honoring ancestors an

d also a break for spring outings. This year, the holiday fell on Friday through Sunday.

According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Chinese visitors made ov

er 112 million visits during the holiday, up 10.9 percent from last year. Revenue gene

rated by the holiday travel saw a year-on-year rise of 13.7 percent, reaching 47.89 billion yuan ($7.14 billion).

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This is an unprecedented move,” said Robert Mann

 president of R.W. Mann & Co, an aviation consulting firm. “I think it will be a good thi

ng for Max aircraft, but I’m not sure it will be a good thing overall if it creates an international bureaucratic proce

ss for future certification that will take longer than any individual oversight agency would now require.”

James Hall, managing partner of Hall & Associates, an aviation consulting firm in Washin

gton and former chairman of the NTSB, said it’s unclear how the FAA’s new panel will m

esh with investigations of Boeing launched by the US inspector general, US Justice Department and Congress.

“Will the technical review team look at the certification pro

cess, or is it an attempt to get the plane back in the air?” Hall said. “We’ll see.”

Boeing said it would work closely with the new task force.

“We welcome the Joint Authorities Technical Review and look forward to working wi

th the panel,” Paul Bergman, a spokesman for Boeing in Seattle, said in a statement. “Safety is our top priority.”

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Ceremony held to mourn E China blast victims victims in Yanch

A memorial service was held on Wednesday for victims who died in a chemical plan

t explosion seven days prior in Xiangshui township, Yancheng city, East China’s Jiangsu province.

More than 200 officials, police officers, firefighters, bereaved families and volunteers attended the serv

ice at 7:30 am. The cars at the site honked their horns and attendees presented flowers to pay tribute to the victims.

To date, the deadly explosion of Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Co in Yancheng’s Xiangshui county has claimed 78 lives.

According to Chinese tradition, the seventh day after a death marks the height of the mourning period.

subsidies continue gradual phase-out

China will whittle down subsidies on new energy vehicles as the industry develops and cost drops, aiming to boost high-quality development in the NEV sector.

The newest measure will lower subsidy standards for new energy passenger cars, buses and t

rucks, taking factors such as industry growth, cost reduction and subsidy phase-out policies into consideration, the

Ministry of Finance said in a joint statement Tuesday, adding the move was set to bring more competition in the industry.

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