nd for decades and witnessed local farmers’ continuous battles against sandstorms.

“It didn’t just feel like a black storm, it was as if the whole desert was approachi

ng,” recalls Liu Conghui, a writer who was born, and still lives, near the farm Wang once worked.

As the menacing sandstorms made the area increasingly inhospitable, Liu’s whole community planned to up sticks.

To restore the local ecosystem, the Chinese government launched

a 10.7 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) project in 2001. A set of measures were adopted such as sav

ing water, converting farmland into grassland, providing treatment for dry riverways and building dams. In addition to t

hose measures, industrial and agricultural use of water in cities and counties along the river was limited.

Over the past two decades, Xinjiang has infused 7.7 billion cubic meters of water into

the dry trunk stream of the lower reaches of the Tarim River in 19 rounds of water diversion.

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n Tuesday afternoon, Xi called for efforts to make new advances in the development of the countr

y’s central region. Xi presided over the meeting, at which he was briefed by the Party secretaries of Shanxi, Anhui, Jiangxi, He

nan, Hubei and Hunan provinces, as well as He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Promoting the rise of the central region is an important strategic decis

ion made by the CPC Central Committee, Xi said, adding that it has great significance in ac

hieving the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

Xi said that although China is still in an important period of strategic opp

ortunity for its development, the country faces an increasingly complicated international situation.

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Mainstream political groups will continue to dominate in elections to the European Parli

ament this week but probably will lose some seats to nationalist and far-right parties, analysts predict.

“There is no fear for the solidity of the EU-decision-making system”, said Sven Biscop, director of the Euro

pe in the World Program at the Egmont-Royal Institute for International Relations, a think tank based in Brussels.

But he urged “those who favor the European project” to not be complacent, as the rise of

populist and far-right parties has already become a major concern for the EU and its member states.

About 400 million people from the EU’s 28 member countries – includi

ng for now the United Kingdom – are eligible to vote in polls to be held from Ma

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hina Eastern Airlines confirmed to news outlet The Paper on Tuesday it has officially lodged claims with Boeing for losses cause

d by the 737 MAX’s grounding and late delivery, adding the two companies will stay in communication over the issue.

The move makes China Eastern Airlines the first airline in China to ask Boeing for compensation, as the 737 M

AX suffered worldwide suspensions after two deadly crashes which took more than 300 lives in six months.

Fourteen Boeing 737 MAX jets under China Eastern Airlines have been grounded since March 11.

Boeing stressed that it refused to talk about any communications with its clients.

Bloomberg cited people with knowledge of the matter last Wednesday, saying

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policies for residence permits and financial incentives to lure more talent.

For example, Zhenjiang in Jiangsu province, promised bonuses of 150,000 and 200,000 yuan for house purchases to gradua

tes with master’s and doctoral degrees, respectively, after they work in the city for three years.

Haikou, capital of Hainan province, is attracting college students with a monthly rent s

ubsidy of 1,500 yuan, with an 18,000-yuan allowance to graduates who decide to buy an apartment there.

Employment, especially some groups such as college gradu

ates and demobilized military staff, remains a priority to the government.

Premier Li Keqiang said at a teleconference on May 13 that employme

nt pressure will be felt this year by a larger number of college graduates. However, promotin

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President Xi Jinping inspected a company that manufactures high-tech magnetic m

aterials as he kicked off an inspection trip to East China’s Jiangxi province on Monday.

Xi learned about the business operations of the JL MAG Rare-Earth Co Ltd, based in Ganzhou, which speciali

zes in rare earth permanent magnetic materials, as well as the development of the rare earth sector in the city.

Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei, said on Tuesday that the US governm

ent’s 90-day extension “doesn’t mean much”, adding that the company was ready to deal with the ban.

Ren’s comments came after the US Commerce Department said on Monday that it gave Hu

awei a 90-day license to purchase US technologies to maintain existing networks and provide software upd

ates to existing Huawei handsets. That marks a delay of the ban on US technology exports to Huawei.

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oao Forum for Asia, that China will grant 5G licenses this year, but didn’t disclose a specific date.

“5G, industrial internet and the internet of vehicles are among the country’s top development priorities

in the telecommunications industry,” Zhang Feng, chief engineer of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, sa

id on Friday during the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

Zhang called for accelerated efforts to set standards in key areas, including 5G, to expedite the com

mercialization of this forefront technology and bolster the nation’s core competitiveness.

Major Chinese smartphone maker Huawei Technologies Co has already unveiled its first 5G chip and first 5G fold

able smartphone, the Mate X, which is expected to hit the market in June, despite challenges involving the United States.

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ange its resolution to control house prices, Zhang said, adding that in the future the real estate market will continue to crack down on speculation.

On May 11, Suzhou tightened housing policies further, China Daily ea

rlier reported. The down payment ratio for a family’s first home purchase has been rais

ed from 20 percent to 30 percent.China may grant official 5G licenses, instead of the interim licenses prev

iously planned, to telecom carriers this year and is likely to start commercial use of the superfast wireless technology nat

ionwide in the near future, possibly as soon as October, according to people familiar with the matter.

Newly built property in certain parts of the city cannot

be traded for a three-year period after purchase, and for five years in the case of pre-owned property.

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artment announced on Wednesday it will add telecommunications eq

uipment maker Huawei and its affiliates to the Entity List on Wednesday. Being on the list

bars the company from buying US technology without government approval due to security concerns.

On the same day, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that bars US companies fr

om using telecom equipment from manufacturers considered a national security risk, without mentioning Huawei by name.

Such moves, as well as the increase of tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods earlier this m

onth, complicated the prospect of continuing the bilateral trade talks that have been ongoing for more than a year.

China has always believed in and hoped to solve trade differences thr

ough talks, but such talks should be equal, Wang said. In any talks, China must protect its legitim

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al modernization and ensure that both urban and rural residents enjoy equal public services.

By the middle of this century, digital villages will be completely built nationwide to advance rural revitalization.

To fulfill such targets, the country will accelerate the constructi

on of IT infrastructures in rural areas, upgrading rural internet facilities and information services.

More efforts will be made to boost the rural digital economy, with wider use of digital techno

logies in agriculture and the development of e-commerce and various emerging creative industries in rural regions.

While providing more support for rural technological innovation, the co

untry will strengthen ecological protection in rural areas with digital technologies.

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