progress of reforms and new developments of the capital market.

A draft amendment to the law was previously submitted to the top legislature for first reading

in April 2015, mainly to meet the legislative demand of reforming the IPO system toward a registration-based one.

The first draft also improved rules on developing a multi-layer capital market system, strengthen

ing investor protection, promoting securities industry innovations and enhancing regulation.

New revisions were submitted for a second reading in April 2017 to im

prove regulation on such areas as stock trading, acquisitions of listed firms, information disclo

sure and investor protection. The second draft also demanded the State Council to gradually advance the IPO sys

tem reform in accordance with authorization granted by the top legislature.

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On Saturday, a new item was added to China’s draft civil law, which put

s all medical and scientific research related to human genes and embryos under stricter re

gulation. Two experts shared their views with China Daily’s Zhang Zhouxiang:

One major change this time is that embryos are clearly included in the draft regulation. Actually,

gene-editing of embryos deserves more attention than gene-editing of adults or children.

First, gene-editing of embryos might more easily get out of control an

d pose more risks to the society. The safety of gene-e

diting for embryos remains unknown and the availability limit of the technology needs to be confirmed.

The birth of the twin gene-edited babies in November 2018 sounded an alarming bell to all. If the embr

yos with edited genes are born, how should we protect their rights as citizens? Will they suffer fro

m discrimination? Who will be responsible if the gene-editing causes health problems?

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US retail giant Walmart Inc will continue to grow its hypermarkets, Sam’s Club stores, and community-ba

sed smaller-sized supermarkets businesses in China with more advanced technologies, according to a top official.

Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart, told China Daily during his visit to Shanghai on Thursday that China is still one of

the most important markets for the US retailer. Technology will be another major focus area for the com

pany in China as Walmart has always been a “people-led company that relies heavily on technology,” he said.

McMillon said Walmart has developed digital solutions to better u

nderstand customer behavior and spending patterns, which in turn has helped the ret

ailer to create new products and to solve old retail problems with modern technology.

Wern-Yuen Tan, president and CEO of Walmart China, said digital technology has hel

ped Walmart to reach out to more customers and improved the overall decisionmaking process.

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 Zhu also was twice denied single-entry visas to the US.

“This shows how the US is trying to block normal social exchanges bet

ween the two countries, an important channel for mutual understanding and trust,” Zhu said.

Besides scholars in social sciences, the US also began last year to make it harder for Chinese graduate students to get visas if they stud

y in “sensitive research fields”. It warned biomedical researchers at US universities to beware of “Chinese spies

trying to steal information from their laboratories”, according to The New York Times report.

Jon Taylor, a professor of political science of the University o

f St. Thomas in Houston, said the decision is “both absurd and exceedingly shortsighted”.

“These scholars and researchers are social scientists with a long history of interactin

g with their American counterparts as well policymakers in both countries,” he said.

“They are scholars teaching and researching what I teach and research. What are they going to steal?”

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me period. The value-added high-tech sector’s out

put rose by 7.8 percent, higher than the country’s value-added industrial output.

In the first quarter, the NDRC approved 50 fixed asset investment projects, mainly in th

e fields of energy, transportation and high-tech. The total investment hit 370.3 billion yuan ($55.3 billion).

The NDRC reportedly is considering a slew of new measure to boost spending on automob

iles, home appliances and consumer electronics products. People close to the NDRC said it has sent a draft plan to

encourage consumption in the three sectors, according to a report in the National Business Daily.

The news caused shares of home appliance companies traded in Shanghai and Shenzhen to increase

by 1.47 percent on Thursday, according to Shanghai-based information provider Wind Info.

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that could at least double the readings,” Zhang said. He added that this could help explain the o

ccurrence of heavy PM2.5 pollution that lasts for an extended period of time in certain regions.

Zhang said the interaction of air pollution and meteorologic

al conditions could be triggered when PM2.5 density reaches 100 micrograms per cubic meter in ma

ny of the monitoring points of a region. In such situations, more solar radiation wil

l be reflected back into the space, resulting in temperature inversion and further stabilizing the ground atm

osphere. And the height of the mixing layer could decrease to only one-third of that w

hen pollution processes begin, exacerbating particulate concentration levels even further.

The center’s research also showed that global warming is increas

ing the number of days with a stable surface atmosphere in n

orthern China, especially in the cluster, making smog more likely to develop.

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China’s economy, despite headwinds, has enjoyed a good start in the first quarter of 2019, and the country has the confide

nce to achieve the annual projected growth goal, said the country’s top economic planner.

“The first quarter’s stable economic development has laid a solid foundation for the an

nual growth,” said Yuan Da, spokesperson with the National Development and Reform Commission.

“The economy has stayed on the track of steady growth. We have the confidence, conditio

ns and capability to meet the projected targets for economic and social development this year.”

Yuan made the remarks at the NDRC press conference on Thursday in Beijing.

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s economy expanded at a faster-than-expected 6.4 perce

nt year-on-year in the first quarter. The growth was unchanged from that in the fourth quarter in 2018.

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year at a range of 6 to 6.5 percent, according to the 2019 Government Work Report.

A further 3.24 million new urban jobs were added in the first quarter, and the survey

ed unemployment rate remained at a comparatively low level of 5.2 percent in

March. Consumer price registered a moderate rise by 1.8 percent in the first three months this year.

A basic equilibrium in the balance of payments was m

aintained, and China’s foreign exchange reserves remain more than $3 trillion.

Economic structure further improved during the same period. Value-added high-tech se

ctor’s output rose by 7.8 percent, higher than the country’s value-added industrial output.

In the first quarter, NDRC has approved 50 fixed asset investment projects, mainly i

n the fields of energy, transportation and high-tech sectors. The total investment hit 370.3 bill

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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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eing restored as well. We have no room for even the slightest error,” Song said.

Liu Qingzhu, a cultural heritage expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, “In anci

ent times, thunderstorms were the biggest threats for wooden architecture. They became much safer after l

ighting rods were widely installed. However, the use of electricity in restorations has created a new problem.”

Unlike the stone structures of much ancient architecture in the W

est, wood was the primary building material in ancient China. “If a fire similar to the one at Notre

Dame in Paris happened at a Chinese building, the whole building would probably burn down,” Liu said.

Hours after the fire in Paris, the Palace Museum in

Beijing, China’s former imperial palace from 1420 to 1911 and also known as the Forbidden City, held an eme

rgency meeting to go over its fire-prevention efforts. It is the world’s biggest architectural complex made of wood.

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