Liu, who turned himself in, stepped down in Janua

ary as chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, a position he kept for three years before being replaced by Yi Huiman.

The central commission said in the statement that Liu is cooperating with the probe.

hina’s housing regulator has warned four Chinese cities over price rises in the past three months, the Economic Observer reported.

Local governments of Foshan, Suzhou, Dalian and Nanning were urged by the Ministr

y of Housing and Urban-Rural Development to stabilize land and housing prices as well as market expectations.

This came a month after six other cities were also warned over similar reasons on April 19.

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The move followed a State Council decision in April to es

tablish a policy framework for applying a fairly low RRR for small and medium-

sized banks in a bid to lower financing costs for MSEs.

Home prices in 70 major Chinese cities continued to stabilize despite slight increases in April, official data showed Thursday.

New home prices in four first-tier cities — Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou — increased 0.6 percent month

on month in April, up from the 0.2-percent increase in March, said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in a statement.

New home prices climbed 0.8 percent in 31 second-tier cities, and rose 0.5 percent in 35 third-tier cities.

As for resold homes, prices in the four first-tier cities reported a 0.4-percent growth mo

nth on month, while those in 31 second-tier cities went up 0.6 percent, narrowing from the 1.2-percent increase in March.

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The supply of high-end talent, government investmen

t in culture and education, attractiveness for foreign investment and consumption scale are also indicators under consideration.

Shanghai has the highest infrastructure and cultural environment indexes, and the financi

al hub’s talent, technological innovation and financing indexes are in the top three of the country.

Although Beijing’s soft environment index ranked first among all Chinese cities, its hard environment index lagged behind

due to restriction of natural resources such as air quality, climate and forest coverage rate, the report said.

With the best hard environment, South China’s Shenzhen also leads on the country’s technological innovation index.

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Wang stressed if one side is trying to place extreme press

extreme pressure on the other, it will cause a legitimate counterattack.

“The measures from us are not only to safeguard China’s own rights, b

ut to protect the basic rules of the current multilateral trading mechanism,” Wang said.

Wang made the remark in a joint news conference with his Russian

counterpart Sergei Lavrov during his visit to the Black Sea coastal city of Sochi.

Experts warned that the rising US tariffs on Chinese imports risks a full-blown trade war, which will bring harm to both sides.

Major Wall Street stock indexes declined more than 2 percent on Monday, followi

ng China’s announcement of countermeasures in response to Washington’s latest tariff move.

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Disaster-proofing the world’s largest infrastructure ini

nitiative is a challenge, but achievable,” she said, adding that at the heart of this challenge lies great potenti

al for innovation and creativity, such as new disaster risk prediction and analysis, and disaster-resilient infrastructures.

Huang Runqiu, vice-minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said dis

aster risk reduction of natural hazards along the initiative is crucial for its success and sustainability.

Regions at the heart of the initiative, such as the Tianshan-Pamir Platea

u, the Himalayas, eastern parts of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and South Asia, are facing serio

us disaster threats due to tectonic movements, fragile ecosystems and extreme weather, he said.

Henrik Slotte, a senior disaster management expert from the UN Environm

ent Program, said poorly managed infrastructure projects can damage the ecosystem.

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While early-stage Uber investors such as Benchmark, Men

 Ventures, First Round Capital and Lowercase Capital made a killing in the IPO, some late-stage backers did not fare as well.

Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp <9984.T >, for example, invested in Uber in early 2018 at $48.

77 per share. It also bought shares at a much lower price in a large secondary transaction.

To be sure, other IPOs have traded well so far in 2019, including online scrapbook company Pinterest Inc, vegan burger

maker Beyond Meat Inc and video-conferencing startup Zoom Video Communications Inc. But these were mu

ch smaller startups than Uber that did not execute as many frothy fundraising rounds.

Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi, who was on the NYSE trading floor to mark the debut, tried to cal

m investors by pointing to the company’s growth prospects and expansion plans.

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Govt should accelerate tax cuts to invigorate economy, pre

Premier Li Keqiang urged government departments to speed up the implement

ation of tax reductions to invigorate the country’s economy, amid rising uncertainties about growth on Friday.

Li was speaking with entrepreneurs from the manufacturing, constructio

n and service sectors at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing.

The businesspeople said they have received benefits from the tax reduction measures in t

he past months, after the measures were introduced by Li in the Government Work Report in March. Th

ey also offered advice on how to further ease the tax burden on businesses.

After hearing their opinions, Li called tax reduction a great decision

made by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council. It has boosted

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The Organizing Committee on Friday also unveiled its

 plans for volunteer recruitment and training. International recruit

ment, which will be launched in December through an online system, aims to select 27,000

volunteers to directly serve the Games’ operation, while another 80,000 or so will work as city volunteers.

The Games’ official mascot will be unveiled in the second half of this year.

hina expects to participate in more international assessments of t

he impacts of climate change and human activities on Arctic ecosystems, a senior official said.

Protection of Arctic species and the natural restoration of ecosystems can be a key in such cooperation, said Wang Hong,

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Nevertheless, it is difficult to separate cyclical elements

and external shocks from the long-term trend and to conclude that China’s potential growth rate really is 6-6.5 percent.

Many Chinese economists cite long-term supply-side structural factors-such as demographic agi

ng, environmental degradation, and a lack of progress on reform-to argue that China has simply en

tered a new stage of development, characterized by significantly lower potential growth rates.

Structural factors don’t explain falling growth rate

While this may be true-everyone in China agrees that 9-10 perce

nt annual growth rates are a thing of the past-there is no clear indication of how much Chin

a’s growth potential has actually declined. Long-term supply-side structural factors do not explain, for exam

ple, why the growth rate fell from 12.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010 to 7.4 percent in the third quarter of 2013.

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Horticultural exhibits delve into high-tech magic

The ongoing International Horticultural Exhibition 2019 in Beijing is all about gar

dening, but it doesn’t shy away from high technology that improves visitors’ experience.

To provide visitors with information services, ticket purchasing, parking, travel routes, introductions to scenic sp

ots, medical services, performance arrangements and traveling tips, a mobile phone app called Expo 2019 was developed.

It’s like having a tour guide at hand, said Guo Ziliang, an official at the Beijing World Horticultural Expo Coordination Bureau, the expo’s organizer.

“The app shows people how to conveniently and efficiently make their way through the park,” he said. “It also helps improve the park’s reception capacity.”

The 162-day expo, from April 29 to Oct 7, is expected to receive a total of 16 million visitors.

The app, available in bilingual versions-English and Chinese-can be downloaded for free from online app stores.

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