Bank of Beijing planning venture with Dutch lender NV at a bra

Bank of Beijing Co Ltd said on Friday that it has got the necessary board approvals for the estab

lishment of a joint venture with Netherlands-based ING Bank NV, in which the latter will be the majority partner.

With a total investment of 3 billion yuan ($448 million), the forthcoming joint-venture bank, which is still waiting for regulat

ory approval, may become China’s first commercial lender in which a foreign shareholder has a controlling int

erest. According to the plan, ING Bank will hold a 51 percent stake, and Bank of Beijing 49 percent.

Drawing on the experience of ING Bank in the successful development of direct banking services, the joint venture will build

a brand in the area of digital banking with the help of financial technologies and try to become a benc

hmark in terms of the implementation of China’s push to further open up its financial sector to for

eign investors, said the mid-tier commercial lender BOB in an announcement.

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That means China would move closer to the standards

for a “high-income country” — above $12,736 in per capital GDP — set by the World Bank in 2015.

However, a productivity slowdown, aging population and unbalanced regional developme

nt could be among the “bottlenecks” that constrain China in becoming a high-income country, economists said.

Given the pressure of the slowing global economy, a high degree of leveraging maintains the top risk for China’s econ

omy, thus measures should continue to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio “in proper order”, said Lou Jiwei, chairman of

the National Council for Social Security Fund and a former finance minister.

It is necessary to build a long-term and efficient mechanism for financial regula

tion and fiscal supervision, and to prevent potential risks in the property sector, Lou said.

The three-day China Development Forum has a guest list of more than 150 international delegates, including global industry leaders.

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Our moves to cut tax on this occasion aim at an accommo

dative effect to strengthen the basis for sustained growth while also considering the need to ensu

re fiscal sustainability. It is a major decision taken at the macro policy level in support of the efforts to en

sure stable economic growth, employment, and structural adjustments,” Li said in the report.

Value-added tax-a major type of corporate tax der

ived from the sale of goods and services-reductions will benefit most of the companies, said Yang We

iyong, an associate professor at the Beijing-based University of International Business and Economics.

“The VAT reductions can effectively lighten the tax burden of en

terprises, thereby increasing the investment by ent

erprises, boosting demand and improving the economic structure,” Yang added.

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The office was established after Kim and South Korean Preside

  nt Moon Jae-in met at the DMZ for an historic summit last year, which was follow

ed by a meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Singapore.

  Pyongyang said it would notify Seoul regarding “further practical matters in the future.”

  In the statement, the Unification Ministry said South Korea regrets the decisi

on, and urged the North to return soon and continue the work being done at the liaison office towards a full peace settlement.

  ”We regard such a withdrawal as very sad and unfortunate (and) we hop

e that the North will return shortly and hope that the liaison contact office will operate nor

mally as soon as possible,” Vice Minister of Unification Chun Hae-sung said at a press conference in Seoul Friday.

  ”We believe that we should take some time to judge (the situation).”

  North Korea’s pull-out Friday from the Kaesong Liason Office has been on cards since Hanoi, given recent

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All the devices were judged to be viable, and the package

  sent to Heathrow Airport burst into flames after being opened by staff. Nobody was injured by the devices and no arrests have been made.

  The packages were posted with Irish stamps and had return addresses in Dublin, prompting Irish police to join the investigation. The packages were all A4-size

d white postal bags containing yellow padded bags, which were capable of igniting when opened.

  Police Scotland confirmed that a controlled explosion was carried out on the p

ackage found at the University of Glasgow on March 6 as a precautionary measure.

  The Metropolitan Police and Police Scotland said in a joint statem

ent that the devices “bore similarities” to past packages “linked to dissident groups asso

ciated with Northern Ireland related terrorism,” and that “officers were already looking at this as a line of enquiry.”

  The devices did not cause any injuries or damage.

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And while it was perhaps the most blatant attempt by the

  ministration to wade into a foreign contest, it was not the only time the President or his tea

m has weighed in on the domestic politics of other countries. From undercutting British Prime Minis

ter Theresa May during a visit to the United Kingdom to calling attention to protests against French President Emm

anuel Macron, Trump has repeatedly sought to influence the internal affairs of the US’s closest allies — in full public view.

  ”It’s not without precedent that United States leaders have said things that affect politics in other countries, but it is without prece

dent for them to do it as brazenly as Trump has done,” said Joseph Nye, the former dean of Harvard Uni

versity’s Kennedy School of Government. “His style and the degree to which he intervenes are both unprecedented.”

  American administrations have long sought to quietly sway the domestic politics of other countries, whether throu

gh covert influence campaigns or military support. But rarely has a US president so eagerly voiced his opinions or

taken steps to influence another country’s internal affairs, particularly among close US allies.

  Instead — even when an administration’s preferred outcome was widely known or assumed — the White Hou

se maintained an officially neutral stance. A country’s internal affairs were off-limits, at least as a matter of stated position.

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The timing is bad. There’s no question about it that making

  move like this that would even give the appearance of support to the incumbent pri

me minister is — it will be viewed by some as problematic,” said Jonathan Schanzer, an expert at the Fo

undation for Defense of Democracies who has previously called for the US to recognize the Golan Heights.

  But Schanzer pointed out that past US presidents have also sought to sway Israeli electi

ons. President Bill Clinton, for example, invited Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres to the White Ho

use to sign an anti-terror pact at the White House just under a month before Peres faced reelection.

  Trump, though — who enjoys sky-high popularity in Israel — will welcome Netanyahu to the White House for meetings

and a dinner over two days just two weeks before Israeli elections. And he is handing Netanyahu an achievement sought by successive Israeli adm

inistrations.Trump has sought to leave his imprint on the politics of another close US ally, the United Kingdom.

  After openly advocating for the United Kingdom to vote to leave the European Union as a presidential candidate, Trump as president has done little

to disguise his views of UK’s May and her handling of the matter, which has drawn scorn from all sides in the United Kingdom.

  Hours before he met May at her Chequers estate outside London in July, the Sun newspaper published an interview with Trump in which he underc

ut his counterpart and suggested one of her political rivals, former London mayor Boris Johnson, might perform the job better.

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The visit was not only for Harvard but also on behalf of

  all of US higher education in order to promote bilateral educational exchanges, he said.

  ”I am here precisely because, like you, I believe these ties are extremely import

ant for our academic institutions, but even more importantly, for our nations,” he said.

  He noted that there are a large number of overseas students from China at Har

vard, and the Chinese language is among the most popular foreign languages at the institution.

  He also expressed his admiration for the great emphasis the Ch

inese government has placed on education and its efforts to enhance higher education, addi

ng that Harvard University is ready to move forward with exchanges with Chinese education and research inst

itutions.He calls for tapping partnership potential in such sectors as shipping, telecommunications

  China stands ready to work with Italy on the Belt and Road Initiative by strengthening its alignment with the Eur

opean country’s development strategies to bring bilateral ties to a new level, President Xi Jinping said.

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Lee Ji-soo, a computer specialist who helps women scr

the web of images taken without their consent, told CNN last year her company had seen a surge in demand since the protests drew attention to the issue.

“The most common things that the clients are saying — and they are quite heartbreaki

ng — are ‘I want to die’ or ‘I cannot leave my house.’ Especially the victims of spy cam or illegally taken video

s say that when they encounter people on the street, they feel like they would be recognized,” she said.

In January, the co-owner of a South Korean revenge porn sit

e was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of $1.26 million. Soranet, which was sh

ut down last year, was a popular site for uploading videos and photos taken using hidden and upskirt cameras.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to note the size of the accommod

ations involved and that in South Korea small hotels are typically referred to as motels.

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A preliminary KNKT report said the crew of Air Lion Flight 610 stru

ruggled to override the plane’s automatic systems in the minutes before it plunged into the oc

ean. The system pulled the plane’s nose down more than two dozen times, the report said.

The report said the MCAS system was responding to incorrect data transmitted by an AOA sens

or. A different flight crew experienced the same issue on a flight from Denpasar to Jakarta the previous day,

but had turned off the MCAS and took manual control of the plane, the report said.

Once in Jakarta, a Lion Air technician checked the plane again and gave it the green lig

ht to fly on its final flight, from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang on the Indonesian island of Bangka.

The jet crashed 13 minutes after takeoff.

Experts have pointed to similarities between the Lion Air crash six months ago and last w

eek’s Ethiopian Airlines crash, which killed all 157 people on board. Both were Boeing 737 Max 8 pla

nes that were equipped with the same automated flight software and both crashed minutes after takeoff.

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