ROME, March 22 — Visiting President Xi Jinping met with Italian Senate Speaker Maria Elisabetta Alberti

Casellati here Friday on expanding exchanges and cooperation between the two countries’ legislative institutions.

China and Italy have enjoyed a traditional friendship, with the ancient Silk Road closely linking the two peoples, Xi said.

Since they established diplomatic relations nearly 50 years ago, the China-Italy ties have seen healthy and stable devel

opment, and the two countries have become important partners who trust each other and work together, Xi said.

The visit is meant to consolidate the stability and strategic nature of the China-Ita

ly relations in the long term, and comprehensively elevate the level of their mutually beneficial cooperation, Xi said.

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llati said, noting that the Italian and Chinese peoples have always trusted each other and

maintained profound friendship, with close ties in such fields as economy and trade, and culture.

The Senate speaker said she agrees with Xi on his remarks about the traditional friendly exchanges between the two cou

ntries dating back over 2,000 years, published in leading Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera ahead of his visit.

China and Italy are major countries that boast a rich culture, she said, adding that Italy is willing to boost communication and c

ooperation with the Chinese side in such fields as culture, art, language, heritage protection, tourism, science and tec

hnology, and innovation, and encourage their youths to increase exchanges and mutual understanding.

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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 blast occurred on Thursday at the Chenjiagang Industrial Park in t

he city of Yancheng, in Jiangsu province, and the fire was brought under control on Friday.

Meng’s union has been offering free food and drinking water to those donating blood since the center was set up Thursday.

Gao Shuibao, a volunteer at the local Red Cross society, estimated at least 280 people do

nated their blood on Thursday and the number stood at more than 200 on Friday morning.

Zhang Yinlong, whose home is about 20 kilometers away from the donation point, had come in for the fourth time on Friday to give blood.

“I came at 5 pm yesterday, but only found an extremely long line. I went back home and

came back again at about 8 pm, but had to give it up after waiting for two hours,” said the 38-year-old.

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attending the unveiling ceremony for a paving stone dedicated to Charles Cao Quin, senior advisor on China-UK partnerships at the school.

Over the past years, Charles Cao Quin of the Beijing Conservatory has worked closely with Upping

ham School, an English boarding school famed for its rich tradition of all-around education, especially of music.

The school flew the Chinese national flag in tribute to the visit of Wang Yongli, minister counselor for education at the Chinese embassy in London.

Charles was the first person from China honored with an engraved paving slab in his name.

Doctor Richard Maloney, headmaster of Uppingham School, praised that Charles has contr

ibuted a lot to the communication between China and the UK in terms of music and education partnership.

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  Swiss police have arrested a 75-year-old woman in connection with the fatal stabbing of a seven-year-old boy on his way home from school.

  The child, who has not been named, was attacked while walking alone in the north

ern city of Basel around midday local time on Thursday, police said in a statement.

  The boy’s class teacher, who was passing on a bicycle, found him lying seriously injured on the sidewalk and call

ed for an ambulance. The boy died shortly after emergency surgery in hospital, the statement added.

  Soon after the stabbing, a 75-year-old woman turned herself in to the police. She admitt

ed attacking the boy and was arrested, police said, but did not explain the motive for the attack.

  Police said investigations were continuing and appealed for witnesses.

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  North Korea is withdrawing from a joint liaison office near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) with Sout

h Korea, a key symbol of the rapprochement and ongoing peace process between the two countries.

  The move comes after the US slapped two Chinese firms with sanctions for doing busin

ess with Pyongyang, the first action taken by Washington against North Korea since the second summit bet

ween North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in Hanoi ended early with no agreement.

  South Korea’s Unification Ministry announced the move Friday, say

ing the decision had been taken by the North on “instructions from the superior authority.”

  In its communication with the South, Pyongyang said it would not mind Seoul’s representatives “remaining in the office,” whi

ch is based in Kaesong, a part of North Korea near the de facto border between the two countries.

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  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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  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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also voiced his support for bilateral exchanges and cooperation in education during their meeting at the G20 Summit in Argentina in December.

The rising level of education has been a major contributor to

China’s rapid development in its 40 years of reform and opening-up, he said.

China remains committed to advancing the modernization of its education, making

itself an education powerhouse and developing education that people are satisfied with, he added.

During this process, China is willing to conduct broader exchanges and cooper

ation with education and research institutions including Harvard University, he said.

Bacow, who last year became the 29th president of Harvard U

niversity, said he is glad to make China his first overseas stop since his inauguration.

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