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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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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Those involved in the BRI will strengthen synerg

y in development plans and initiatives of various countries and international organizations and in

tensify bilateral and the third-party market cooperation to help more countries raise their level of connectivity, Xi said.

He added that participants agreed that Belt and Road forums are an important platform for multilateral co

operation and should be held on a regular basis.

President calls for countries’ joint efforts in building Belt, Road in forum speech

President Xi Jinping pledged on Friday to take strong measures such as easing market

access for foreign capital and increasing imports to promote the higher-level opening-up of the country.

While delivering the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the

Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, Xi said that the p

urpose of building the Belt and Road is to achieve win-win cooperation and common development.

China will increase imports of goods and services on a larger scale, and it will further lower its tariff rates, Xi said.

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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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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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One dead, three injured in California synagogue shooting

One person died and three were injured at a synagogue shooting in San

Diego, California, on Saturday, San Diego County authorities confirmed.

A man has been detained for questioning in connection with the shootin

g at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, said San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputies from the Poway station were called to Chabad Way, where the synagogue is located, just before 11:30 am.

Multiple law enforcement sources told local media that four people were shot.

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus told media that the facility was targeted because it was a place for the Jewish community to gather.

“I understand that this was someone with hate in their heart, hate for the Jewish community,” he said of the shooter.

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sees stronger ties with Chilectivity with Latin s hig

Interconnectivity with Latin American countries high on bilateral talks agenda

China and Chile should connect their development strategies and promote interconne

ctivity between Chile and other Latin American countries, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday.

Xi made the remark while meeting with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera in the Great Hall of th

e People in Beijing. Pinera is on a five-day state visit and planned to attend the Second Belt and Road

Forum for International Cooperation. Premier Li Keqiang also met with him on Wednesday.

Xi said Chile is the first South American country to have established diplomatic relation

s with China, and the first Latin American nation to fully acknowledge China’s status as a market-oriented economy.

Xi said that Chile, the first Latin American country to have signed a bilateral free trade agreement with China an

d to have upgraded the agreement, is an important cooperation partner in jointly building the Belt and Road.

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wei Technologies Co posted 179.7 billion yuan in reve

British Prime Minister Theresa May has given the green light to Chinese telecom giant H

uawei to help build the country’s 5G network, said the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

UK’s National Security Council, which is chaired by May, agree

d on Tuesday to allow Huawei limited access to help build parts

of the network such as antennas and other “noncore” infrastructure, the report said.

Huawei is already present in Britain’s existing noncore mobile network, said a Reuters report.

Previously, Huawei said it “poses no threat” and the best way to win trust is thr

ough “transparency” in response to criticism from some in the United Kingdom.

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As President Xi has said, the initiative originated from

China, but it belongs to the world. China has put forward the idea of boosting global development vi

a infrastructure connectivity, and is working zealously to translate it into reality. This is based on wha

t the country learned from its own rags-to-riches story, its own experience of the benefits of free trade and inte

rnational cooperation, and on its understanding of the role a responsible major country must play.

The forum’s growing list of distinguished guests is credible testimo

ny that more and more countries appreciate the initiative‘s win-win nature and long-term pote

ntial. With 126 countries and 29 international organizations signing cooperation agreements with China und

er the Belt and Road framework, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank now boasting 97 members, it is m

ore appropriate to call the initiative a global development mechanism than a Chinese one.

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Govt plans slew of policies to boost consumption

A slew of new policies aimed at encouraging consumption

in key sectors will be unveiled soon, China Securities Journal reported.

China’s retail sales of consumer goods rose 8.3 pe

rcent year-on-year to 9.78 trillion yuan ($1.46 trillion) in the January-M

arch period, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). In March alone, retail sales went up 8.7 pe

rcent to 3.17 trillion yuan, quickening from the 8.2-percent rise seen in the first two months.

In recent years, the government has, on the one hand, frequently intro

duced policies to promote opening-up, increase import and improve consumer welfare. On

the other hand, it has reduced and scrapped import tariffs on some consumer goo

ds. This has played an active role in consumption, Lian Ping, chief economist at Bank of Comm

unication said, adding that consumption still is the key driver for economic growth.

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