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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“Essentially, it depends on the growth of money sup

pply (M2),” said Sheng Songcheng, a central bank adviser and a former director of the central bank’s statistics department.

The central bank released M2 data on Friday, which recorded a 13-month high of 8.6 percent by the end of March, accelerating from 8 percent by February.

Aggregate social financing, a gauge to measure broader financial activities including trust funds and local govern

ment bonds, also grew faster than market expectations. That total financing amount grew to 2.86 trillion yuan in Mar

ch, or a 11.1 percent growth from a year earlier, compared with 10.6 percent in February, said the central bank.

“According to the latest economic data, there is less necessity for RR

R cuts, but it requires further observation on future changes,” said Sheng.

If the central bank further cuts the RRR, when economic growth is already stabilized, inflation wi

ll surge, and possibly lead to funds flowing into the property sector instead of supporting the real economy, he added.

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The latest official tone came from central bank’s D

puty Governor Chen Yulu over the weekend. He reassured that monetary policy will remain “p

rudent” and “with proper intensity”. The growth of broad money supply (M2) and aggregate social financi

ng should align with nominal GDP growth, according to a statement on the central bank’s website.

The deputy governor delivered a speech at the 39th mee

ting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee in Washington.

Chen also stressed that the further improvement of the exchange rate regime wo

uld “keep the renminbi exchange rate generally stable at an adaptive and equilibrium level”.

Lu Ting, chief economist in China with Nomura Securities, wrote in a research note that de

spite solid credit growth, underpinned by ongoing monetary and credit easing measures, the government is u

nlikely to engineer another long and large-scale “credit boom” due to much narrower policy room than before.

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Economic data for March have beaten market expectat

ons in many aspects, and based on those data, China’s year-on-year GDP gr

owth rate in the first quarter may reach 6.3 percent or a bit higher,” said Liu Chun

sheng, an associate professor of economics at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing.

Improved market expectations resulting from progress in the Sino-US trade talks and Beijing’s tax and

fee cut plan, as well as eased liquidity, have helped to offset negative effects of the traditional Spring Fes

tival holiday and downside pressure that continued from the end of last year, Liu said.

China has set this year’s GDP growth rate target at 6 percent to 6.5 perce

nt, after registering full-year growth of 6.6 percent in 2018 and 6.4 percent in the fourth

quarter. The NBS is scheduled to announce the country’s first-quarter economic growth data on Wednesday.

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schedule must not be imposed on workersschedule

Editor’s note: The “996” schedule (working from 9 am to 9 pm, six

days a week) has sparked a heated public debate, because many workers don’t get any ove

rtime pay and, worse, could end up in the “”. The “996” phenomenon is rampant in the high-tech and internet compani

es. Some internet company chiefs have added fuel to the debate by saying they want their workers to “work hard”. T

hree experts share their views on the issue with China Daily’s Yao Yuxin. Excerpts follow:

Labor Law should never be violated

Given the fierce competition in the high-tech sector industries, start-

ups have to take drastic measures to survive, let alone thrive. To develop new products, and pr

oduce and market them, companies need a great deal of resources and ski

lled manpower. Perhaps this is the reason they make their employees work overtime.

But forcing the “996” schedule on the workers is illegal. To p

rotect the rights of workers, the Labor Law stipulates that employers

should not force their workers to work more than eight hours a day, or more than 44 hours a week. If emplo

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yers do need their staff to work extra hours to meet pro

 deadlines or fulfill other tasks, they can ask them to work overtime – but not than 36 hours a month and only after consulti

ng and reaching an agreement with the labor union and the workers. More important, empl

oyers have to pay at least 1.5 times the usual salary to the employees for overtime work.

This is to protect the rights, interests and health of the workers.

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, has added fuel to the debate, by saying that empl

oyees who get the “opportunity” to work according the “996” schedule are the luc

ky ones, because in many companies employees don’t get the chance to work long hours.

But the fact is, if employers do not meet the two essential requiremen

ts to make employees work overtime – consulting wo

rkers and restricting the amount of extra work – and force the “996” schedule o

n their workers and make them work for more than 60 hours a week, they violate the Labor Law.

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The school established an AI research institute in Decem

ber 2017 for graduate students. Many instructors at the school are working on AI-related res

earch so there will be no problem finding capable teachers for the new students, Lin said.

China’s booming AI industry has resulted in a growing demand for tal

ent. It is common for students in AI-related fields to have

already committed to companies before they even graduate and enter the job market, he said.

Master’s graduates majoring in AI can easily find jobs with salaries over 300,000 y

uan ($44,700) per year, and salaries for doctoral graduates are even higher, he said.

Chinese universities are catching up with their counterparts in the United

States in terms of basic research in AI and the numbe

r of published papers, yet they still lag behind in transforming research into application, he added.

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On investment, members of the cooperation mechan

nism will provide a fair and just environment and a level playing

field for foreign companies doing business in their own countries by upholding the principl

es of mutual respect, mutual benefit and fair competition, according to the guidelines.

On the role and significance of China-CEEC cooperation, the guidelines said the mechan

ism constitutes an important part of Europe-China relationship and complements the EU-China Compre

hensive Strategic Partnership and the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation.

Reaffirming their commitment to deepening their partnership for peace, growth, reform a

nd civilization, the participants to the leaders’ meeting expressed their support for the early conclu

sion of an ambitious EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, said the guidelines.

On the Belt and Road Initiative, the participants said they recognize the importance

of the initiative and the EU Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia and welcome forging synergies between them.

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If Britain receives competing extradition requests, law

yers say the Home Secretary would have some leeway in deciding which takes priority. Considera

tions would usually include which request came first, and which alleged crime was more serious.

Most of the lawmakers who signed the letter are from the opposition Labour Party, whose leader, Jere

my Corbyn, wants Britain to refuse to send Assange to the US After Assange’s arrest, he prai

sed Assange for exposing US atrocities committed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some Conservative Party members are also backing the move. Prom

inent lawmaker Alistair Burt, a former Foreign Office mini

ster, said the “minimizing of the issues in relation to sexual assault are really quite disturbing.”

He said the testimony of the women who have been involv

ed makes it “essential” that Assange face justice to either be cleared or convicted.

Assange, 47, has denied the sexual misconduct allegations, which he claims are politically motivated.

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When he took up residence inside the Ecuadorian Em

mbassy in 2012, it was to avoid answering the sexual allegations against him in Sweden, which had sought his extraditi

on for questioning. He also sought refuge because of fears he would ultimately be extradited to the US

Swedish prosecutors opened an investigation into Assange af

ter two women accused him of sexual offenses during a 2010 visit to Sweden.

Some of the sexual misconduct accusations are no longer viable because their time ran out. But Swedish prosecutors

have said a rape case could be reactivated before the statute of limitations ends in August 2020.

After Assange’s arrest, Swedish prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson was tapped to look

into a request from a lawyer for one of the accusers to find out whether the case can be pursued.

Elisabeth Massi Fritz, the lawyer for the woman who reported bei

ng raped by Assange, told The Associated Press that she w

ould “do everything” to have the Swedish case reopened so Assange can be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted.

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