Today, the situation is radically different. Space exploration is

nger the prerogative of the US and Russia. Apart from the US, Russia and China, India too has worked out an ambitious plan to put astronauts in space by 2022.

Constantly improving manufacturing and new material technologies have remarkably reduced the cost of space launches. The pr

ivate US company Space X has successfully launched recoverable rockets, and its launch cost per kilogram payload has fallen below $2,000, one-ten

th that of a space shuttle launch. And for China and India, the cost of one rocket launch is less than $5,000 per kg.

Another major change helping space exploration is the advancement in 3D printing technology, which now allows astr

onauts to produce parts and components in the International Space Station and thus reduces the number of sup

ply vehicle launches. 3D printing will play a big role in the construction of a permanent space station on the moon.

These technological advancements have propelled a new wave of space fever ac

ross the world. While US President Donald Trump has reactivated the space ex

ploration program that aims to land humans on Mars by 2033, private space companies such as Space X and Blue Ori

gin have used advanced technologies to their full advantage to move ahead in the space race.

For China, building a permanent space station and a rocket launch platform on the moon will

be critical to advanced space exploration. Actually, China is moving closer to fulfilling that objective.

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Holiday week spending over 1 trillion yuannd day of the Chin

Chinese consumers opened their wallet during Spring Festival, not only on things like digital home appliances and importe

d fresh food but also on experiences such as travel and entertainment, government figures showed.

Shopping, dining out, travel and entertainment accounted for most of the consumer spending during the week-long hol

iday. Analysts and officials said the strong domestic demand will inject further growth momentum into the eco

nomy in 2019 as the government unveils more policies to spur consumption.

Spending on retail and food services during the Spring Festival period, from Feb 4 to Sunday this year, exceeded 1 trilli

on yuan ($147.41 billion) for the first time, up 8.5 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

The ministry said a key term for Lunar New Year holiday spending was “seeking higher quality” as the government’s em

phasis on upgrading consumption continues. Emerging areas for spending such as the internet, customized pr

oducts, experiences, digital products and services were growth areas during the holiday.

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“I can spend more time with my family and pay much less

for a house than in a big city,” he said. “I attended the first job fair to be held in my hometown on Sunday. I’m considering some job interviews and the salaries offered.”

Ningbo, Zhejiang province, will hold 44 job fairs from Tuesday to late March-42 percent more than last year.

Among them are eight large job fairs starting on Feb 16. More than 900 companies are ex

pected to attend each of the fairs, which will be held on Saturdays and Sundays for a month.

Starting in March, Ningbo will organize more than 2,200 compa

nies and government-affiliated institutions to attend 100 job fairs in 40 cities across Ch

ina, including Hangzhou, Zhejiang province; Xi’an, Shaanxi province; and Changchun, Jilin province.

Cities such as Taizhou, Zhejiang province; Heze, Shandong province; and Nantong, J

iangsu province, will also hold many fairs for job hunters and employers in February and March.

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China improves Long March-6 rocket for growing commer

BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) — China announced Monday that it is developing the modified version of the Long March-6 rocket with four additional solid boosters to increase its carrying capacity.

The improved medium-left carrier rocket will be sent into space by 2020, according to the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASTC), which designed the rocket.

With a short launch preparation cycle, the Long March-6 has been mainly used for the academy’s commercial launches. The rocket completed two space tests in September 2015 and November 2017, carrying 20 satellites and three satellites, respectively.

The three-stage rocket is 29.3 meters long, with a launch weight of 103 tonnes. It has a carrying capacity of one tonne for sun-synchronous orbit.

Fueled by a liquid propellant made of liquid oxygen and kerosene, the Long

March-6 is China’s first carrier rocket that uses non-toxic and non-polluting fuel.

Ding Xiufeng, executive manager of the Long March-6 project, said in response to the growing demand for commercial launches, the

y will have the rockets’ market competitiveness enhanced through technical improvements, so that t

hey can provide easier, faster and more comprehensive services to users at home and abroad.

In January, the China Great Wall Industry Corporation, affiliated wi

th the CASTC, signed a multiple launch services agreement with Satellogic to use the Long

March-6 and the Long March-2 rockets to launch 90 satellites for a private Argentine company in the coming years.

The first 13 satellites will be delivered late

r this year. It will be the first time for the Long March-6 to provide launch services for an international user.

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China to remain NYSE’s major contributor of int’l IPOs i

China has been a major market for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) when it comes to international initial public offerings

(IPOs) over the past few years, and the trend will continue in 2019, according to the exchange.

The wholly-owned subsidiary of Intercontine

ntal Exchange finished 2018 with 125 billion U.S. dollars in proceeds raised from 356 transactions. In a year mark

d by elevated volatility in U.S. equity markets, NYSE issuers raised 30 billion dollars in proceeds from 73 IPOs, statistics showed.

A total of 25 international IPOs were executed during the year, raising 10 bi

llion dollars in proceeds, including Tencent Music Entertainment Group from C

hina, PagSeguro Digital Ltd. from Brazil, and Hudson Ltd. and Farfetch Ltd. from Britain.

A total of 18 Chinese companies raised more than 4 billion dollars in proceeds las

t year, the exchange said in its response to Xinhua’s inquiry. The compa

nies are from a variety of industries, including education, hospitality, technology, and automotive.

Alex Ibrahim, head of international capital markets at NYSE, told Xinhua that it was a “huge highlight” to have compan

ies like Tencent Music Entertainment listing on the exchange and raising over 1 billion dollars.

The IPO of Nio, a leading Chinese electric vehicle maker, also raised more than 1 b

illion dollars and was a very successful transaction, he noted. “It was super exciti

ng to see those cars in front of the exchange and in Times Square,” Ibrahim said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

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sked why so many Chinese companies chose to list in NY

exchanges, Ibrahim said one major reason is that U.S. market is the deepest in the world and companies want to have access to liquidity.

He added that the companies also want to be next to their competitors that have already be

en listed in NYSE so as to make sure the evaluation

is aligned and make themselves available to the vast number of investors.

“This trend will continue because I think there are fantastic companies in China,” he said.

He said that the human element the NYSE has is also an important reason companies are willing to be listed there.

On the other hand, the demand from U.S. investors’ side for Chinese companies and products is high.

Ibrahim said there are a lot of great entrepreneurs

creating and selling new technologies and tapping the growth of Chinese economy.

“Investors want to be part of this growth,” he s

aid, adding that the way to access the growth is through IPOs.

NYSE-listed companies traded with 45 percen

t lower volatility compared to companies listed and traded on other U.S. exchanges, according to the stock exchange.

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Overseas Chinese feel confident in China’s future

Overseas Chinese were attentive to the speech of Chinese President Xi Jinping at

the festival reception held in Beijing on Sunday, sp

eaking highly of China’s achievements in the past year and expecting a brighter future.

“In the past year … we have made efforts and achieved a lot,” Xi said at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing ahead of the Spring Festival.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee an

d chairman of the Central Military Commission, extended greetings to Chinese nationals of all ethnic groups, compatr

iots in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and overseas Chinese on behalf of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council.

Ren Limin, president of the Association of Chinese Residents in France, said he is proud of China’s fast development under the leadership of the CPC.

China has achieved a tremendous transformation in the past several decades, growing rich and becoming stronger, Ren said.

“In France, the overseas Chinese are paying close attention to the development of our motherland. We wish our motherland a better future,” he said.

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n suspect of Jolo blasts surrenders to Philippin

A main suspect in the deadly twin blasts hitting the southern Philippines late last month has surre

ndered to authorities, the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Monday.

PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said the suspect, identified as Kamah Pae, and four others “performed individual role

s” in the church bombings that killed 22 and injured more than 100 others on Jan. 27 in Jolo in southern Sulu province.

Albayalde said Kamah, a student, turned himself in along with four others over the weekend in Jolo.

Multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder charges will be filed before the provincial prosecutor of Sulu on Monday, Albayalde added.

“The five surrendered due to the massive hot pursuit operations by troops from the Patikul Municip

al Police Station,” Albayalde told a news conference in Manila, adding that the five “performed individual roles in that incident.”

Albayalde said the five suspects belong to a group of Abu Sayyaf militants led by Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, which is believed to be responsible for the blasts.

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lbayalde added that three others, including the “two Asian su

bers,” were among those who were killed in the attack.

The police claimed that Kamah, an alleged member of the Abu Sayyaf’s Ajan

g-Ajang sub-group, was seen near the church moments before the explosions.

Albayalde said the attack was plotted as early as between Jan. 8. and Jan. 21. “An identified Asian couple believed to be ho

led in Lampinigan island for a few days sailed to Jolo on Jan. 24 by pump boat to meet up with other suspects.”

From fragments and components recovered at the scene, Albayalde said forensic technic

ians concluded that the bombs were made by pipes that contained “possible ammonium nitrate-fuel

il compound as primary explosive charge and possibly boosted by secondary high explosives.”

The IEDs are typical bombs used by the Abu Sayyaf militants, Albayalde said. “The signature

of the Abu Sayyaf group, therefore, is patently present in the IED used in this latest terror attack in Jolo.”

Albayalde added that the investigation of the blasts “is far from over as there are evidences that n

eed to be carefully examined to test its consistency with other facts and circumstances surrounding the incident.”

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Important progress’ made in trade talks wittalks with US

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (2ndR) speaks across from China’s Vice-P

remier Liu He (L) during the opening of US-China Trade Talks in the Eisenhower Executive Office Build

ing at the White House in Washington, US, January 30, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

Important progress made during the latest round of China-US trade talks paves th

e way for a complete solution in next-step negotiations, officials, business leaders and analysts said.

They also said China has been opening up its economy to the world, offering ample opportunities for global investors.

They made the comments after the wrap-up of the lat

est round of talks between China and the United States in Washington on Thursday, in which the two

sides had specific and constructive discussions covering such topics as trade balance, technology transfers, protection of

intellectual property rights and non-tariff barriers, according to the Chinese delegation.

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