The meetings on Thursday and Friday are all part of

f the 8th Summit of Central and Eastern European Countries & China.

At the China-CEEC economy and trade forum before the leaders meeting, Li called for strengthening trade facilitation and exp

anding two-way opening-up of markets. China is willing to expand imports of goods from CEE nations, particu

larly agricultural products that cater to the demand of Chinese consumers, he said. Trade of farm goods, machine

ry and electric devices should be further boosted and logistics sped up between the trading partners, he said.

Li said trade between China and the 16 CEE nations rose by 21 percent to a record high, de

spite a global trade slowdown. China is willing to strengthen cooperation with CEE nations in infrast

ructure based on market rules and following European Union rules and standards, he said.

Li advocated the great potential for trade and economic cooperation between China a

nd the 16 countries. China-CEEC cooperation is a helpful addition to China-EU ties, he said.

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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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Inside Beijing’s must-attend April eventbassador to

Guests like Austrian ambassador to China Friedrich Stift, p

erformances from the Strauss Festival Orchestra Vienna, and reality TV star Allen Wu as

host have made the event the most talked-about on Beijing’s April social calendar.

The dapperly attendees and the venue at the Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center, a lux

ury hotel in downtown Beijing, will make April 13 a night of waltz, high fashion and haute cuisine.

With tickets priced 1,500 yuan ($224), the ball has sold out every ye

ar during its five-year history in Beijing, according to organizer, the Kempinski Hotel.

In this video interview with China Daily’s website, both the ambassador and Brice Péan, mana

ging director of the Kempinski Hotel, give a preview of what to expect at this year’s ball.

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For me this record shop felt like the right place to pres

nt the album to the public,” Yang says.Yang was talking a couple of weeks before Record Store Day, an eve

nt that a group of record store owners and employees in the United States establishe

d in 2007 aimed at highlighting the importance of record shops to the music industry.

The first Record Store Day took place on April 19, 2008 and is celebrated

by record stores around the globe. This year’s event takes place on Saturday.

Yang, also a producer and chief executive of Maybe Mars, one of the larg

est independent record labels in China – and whose founding in Beijing coincided with that of Reco

rd Store Day – announced that to mark the day this year the company would hold a live show in the capital on Apr

il 21 featuring three indie rock bands: Lonely Leary, Muzzy Mum and Streets Kill Strange Animals.

Three days before the show the record label will release a compilation of vinyls featuring the three

bands’ latest singles, and P.K 14 will contribute two singles to the compilation.When Yang gets to Free

Sound his fans are waiting in a basement room whose walls are adorne

d with concert postures featuring well-known Chinese rockers such as Dou Wei and Ma Tiao.

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Azerbaijan sent a delegation to the first China Intern

ational Import Expo in Shanghai last November. “This kind of expo is extrem

ely important, and provides a chance for Azerbaijan to reach out to the Chinese ma

rket and establish contact with Chinese companies,” Hajiyev said, adding last year’s event was extremely helpf

ul to Azerbaijan and helped traders to understand the requirements and demands of the Chinese market.

Almost 50 percent of China’s trade with the Caucasus region are from

Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan has invested $1.7 billion in Chinese securities. Current trade volu

me between China and Azerbaijan is above $1.5 billion, and Hajiyev believes there is sti

ll more to do to promote bilateral trade, as the two countries have very good relations.

Companies from the two countries are engaged in projects for the

petrochemical industry, and the two countries can touch upon o

ther strategic areas such as energy and communication, the foreign affairs head added.

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China-led project expected to enhance space research

The ongoing China-led international collaboration project Tianq

in, a space-based gravitational wave detection syste

m scheduled to be completed by 2035, is expected to significantly improve unders

tanding of major cosmic phenomena, including black holes, scientists said.

Tianqin uses the Chinese words tian, meaning sk

y or heavens, and qin, meaning stringed musical instrument.

It will consist of three satellites forming an equilater

al triangle around Earth at an orbit of 100,000 kilometers.

Tianqin will work to detect gravitational waves, whic

h scientists theorize are ripples in the fabric of space-time caused by violen

t cosmic events, such as colliding black holes, supernovas and even the birth of the universe.

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President Xi Jinping meets Myanmar Commander-in

China would like to enhance strategic communication and deepen cooperation with Myanmar

no matter how the international situation changes, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday.

Xi made the remark while meeting with Myanmar Commander-in-Chief of Defen

se Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The two countries should deepen their comprehensive strategic cooperation to bring more practi

cal benefits for the people of both countries and contribute to regional stability and prosperity, Xi said.

Noting that military cooperation is an important part of China-Myanm

ar relations, Xi said that the two armies should enhance pragmatic cooper

ation and build bilateral military relations on the basis of mutual trust and benefit.

Xi said that China supports the peace process of Myanmar and pays attention to t

he development of the political and security situation in the northern part of Myanmar.

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As the central government started a new round of subsi

China and the European Union have committed to achieving major progress this year in negotiations for a high-level bilateral in

vestment agreement with a view to concluding the ambitious accord next year, according to a joint statement.

The two sides pledged to widen market access, eliminate discriminatory requireme

nts for foreign investors and establish a balanced investment protection framework, according to a joint statem

ent issued after the China-EU leaders’ meeting held in Brussels, Belgium, on Tuesday.

Premier Li Keqiang, European Council President Donald Tusk and Eur

opean Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker co-chaired the annual meeting and reach

ed consensus on a wide range of issues, including bilateral ties, global challenges and governance.

They committed to building an economic relationship based on openness, nondiscrim

ination and fair competition, ensuring a level playing field, transparency and mutual benefit, the statement added.

Two-way trade between the EU and China reached more than $682 billion last year. The E

U is China’s biggest trading partner, and China is the EU’s second-largest trading partner.

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Li said the common interests of China and the EU far out

 outweigh their differences, and expanding their common interests will help narrow those differ

ences. Li spoke at a joint news conference with Tusk and Juncker after the meeting.

The two sides will continue to strengthen synergies between the EU strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia, the EU’s Trans-E

uropean Transport Networks and the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, the statement said, adding they welco

me further exchanges in 5G networks and technological cooperation between their business communities.

During the meeting, the EU and China also reaffirmed their commitment to multilaterali

sm. The Chinese and EU leaders also worked on coordinating their positions on regional and internationa

l hot spot issues such as the Iran nuclear issue, the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the Venezuela situation.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Wednesday that the joint statement reflects the resolve of China and t

he EU to strengthen their unity and coordination at a time that multilateralism is being challenged.

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French officials said the EU faced “blackmail” by hardli

ine pro-Brexit potential successors to May, such as Boris Johnson. They might try to sabotage decision-making, they said.

However, Merkel has urged the bloc to do all it can to avoid such disruption. She said before leavin

g Berlin that she favoured a delay of “several months” for May, who has pledged to quit if hardcore Brexi

t supporters in her own Conservative Party drop objections to her “soft Brexit” and help ratify the deal.

Keen to ease tension, Merkel had broken the ice as talks began by showing May a photomontage on a tablet of both wearing similar jacket

s when addressing their parliaments earlier in the day. It provoked mutual laughter as other leaders joined in.

As talks wore on beyond midnight, with May patiently waiting elsewhere in the buildin

g for word on her nation’s fate, Macron rallied support for his concerns about a long extension.

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