growth of PM.5 tiny particulate matter concentration tha

that could at least double the readings,” Zhang said. He added that this could help explain the o

ccurrence of heavy PM2.5 pollution that lasts for an extended period of time in certain regions.

Zhang said the interaction of air pollution and meteorologic

al conditions could be triggered when PM2.5 density reaches 100 micrograms per cubic meter in ma

ny of the monitoring points of a region. In such situations, more solar radiation wil

l be reflected back into the space, resulting in temperature inversion and further stabilizing the ground atm

osphere. And the height of the mixing layer could decrease to only one-third of that w

hen pollution processes begin, exacerbating particulate concentration levels even further.

The center’s research also showed that global warming is increas

ing the number of days with a stable surface atmosphere in n

orthern China, especially in the cluster, making smog more likely to develop.

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The situation is very much like the ceiling of a roo

m in which airborne particulate matter is present. The lower the ceilin

g is, the higher the density of pollutants which then mix with the cleaner air.

With a low mixing layer, Taihang mountain range to the west and the Yanshan mountai

n range to the north serve as walls that form a semi-closed “room” in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster.

The high level of emissions is the major reason for air pollution in th

e greater Beijing area, and meteorological conditions also play a key role as an exte

rnal factor, said Xu Xiangde, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences.

Zhang Xiaoye, Xu’s colleague, said the “marked effect” of continuous pollutant accu

mulation on meteorological conditions could make overall pollution even worse.

“After the accumulation reaches a certain level, it will further wor

sen the meteorological conditions, which then will further affect air quality, causing explosive

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Pollution ‘worsened’ by climate changeijing area could b

Smog in greater Beijing area could be thickened by 15 percent, experts say

Climate change has been making meteorological conditions in the

greater Beijing area more conducive to the generation of haze, and combined with heavy s

mog, the situation could trigger a rapid increase in the concentration of airborne pollutants, researchers said.

The National Joint Research Center for Tackling Key Problems in Air Pollution Control demonstra

ted that without a reduction in the discharge of pollutants, air quality in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster

could worsen by about 10 percent and even up to 15 percent in some cities because of unfavorable meteorological co

nditions, the China Meteorological Administration said in a release on Thursday.

Heavy air pollution and a high concentration of particulate

matter is more likely to be seen when wind speeds are lower than 7.2 kilometers per hour, rel

ative humidity is above 60 percent, and there is less than a 500-meter high “mixin

g layer”, which refers to the atmospheric height over which pollutants can be dispersed, it said.

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Economic structure was further improved during the sa

me period. The value-added high-tech sector’s out

put rose by 7.8 percent, higher than the country’s value-added industrial output.

In the first quarter, the NDRC approved 50 fixed asset investment projects, mainly in th

e fields of energy, transportation and high-tech. The total investment hit 370.3 billion yuan ($55.3 billion).

The NDRC reportedly is considering a slew of new measure to boost spending on automob

iles, home appliances and consumer electronics products. People close to the NDRC said it has sent a draft plan to

encourage consumption in the three sectors, according to a report in the National Business Daily.

The news caused shares of home appliance companies traded in Shanghai and Shenzhen to increase

by 1.47 percent on Thursday, according to Shanghai-based information provider Wind Info.

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The eastern area and central China region are accele

rating the push for economic upgrading, which offers strong impetus for the growth. Despite the pressure, we still can see gr

owth momentum,” Zhang said during a macroeconomic seminar earlier this month in Beijing.

“Recently, the government has introduced a series of su

pportive policies which will gradually help grow the real economy,” Zhang added.

NDRC said a further 3.24 million new urban jobs were added in t

he first quarter, with surveyed unemployment ra

te remaining at a comparatively low level of 5.2 percent in March. And consu

mer prices registered a moderate rise of 1.8 percent in the first three months of this year.

A basic equilibrium in the balance of payments was maintai

ned, and China’s foreign exchange reserves exceeded $3 trillion, Yuan added.

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The economy has stayed on the track of steady gro

owth. We have the confidence, conditions and capability to mee

t the projected targets for economic and social deve

lopment this year,” Yuan told an NDRC news conference on Thursday in Beijing.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed China’s economy grew at a faster-than-e

xpected 6.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, remaining at the to

p end of the government’s projected growth range of 6 to 6.5 percent for this year.

The growth was unchanged from that in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Zhang Chenghui, former director at the finan

cial research institute of Development Research Center of the State Cou

ncil, said despite the downward growth pressure, China will see many positive factors in the economy this year.

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China’s trade with the US amounted to 815.86 billi

on yuan ($121.7 billion) between January and March, a decrease of 1

1 percent year-on-year, according to the General Administration of Customs.

In March, Sino-US trade climbed 0.1 percent to 291.35 billion yuan, the administration said.

Li Kuiwen, spokesman for the customs authority, said trade tensions between the two cou

ntries have had certain impacts on companies’ operations, but the impact is “generally controllable”.

Li said economic and trade cooperation remains the ballast of Sino-US re

lations, and he is hopeful that China and the US will achieve mutually beneficial results.

China’s economy, despite headwinds, has enjoyed a good start in 2019, and the country

has the confidence to achieve the annual projected growth goal, said the nation’s top economic regulator.

Yuan Da, spokesperson with the National Development and Reform Commission, said the

first quarter’s stable economic development has laid a solid foundation for annual growth.

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Gao cited data to rebut that view and urged AmCham Chi

ina to evaluate China’s market access and business environment for foreign investors in a “comprehensive, objective and fair” way.

The ministry’s data showed that US investment in China jumped 71.3 percent year-on-ye

ar in the first three months of this year. In 2018, US investment increased 7.7 percent year-on-year.

Gao said expansion of the investment figures fully demonstrates that US compan

ies continue to be optimistic about the market and accelerate the pace of investing in China.

Gao cited another survey published in February by AmCham China that showed that most US

companies with operations in China said they have continued to see their revenues grow there.

Gao said the ministry will maintain close contact with foreign enterprise

s and business associations, and continuously improve China’s business environment.

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Much work remains in Sino-US trade negotiations

China and the United States have made new progress in negotiating the text of an econom

ic and trade deal, but much work remains to be done, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

Negotiating teams from the two countries are hashing out the text of the deal, including

an enforcement mechanism, on the basis of mutual respect and benefit, said Gao Feng, ministry spokesman.

The remarks came as the world’s two biggest economies have been i

ntensifying their consultations and aiming to break the deadlock in a timely manner.

In the most recent round of trade consultations, the negotiators discussed technolo

gy transfers, protection of intellectual property rights, nontariff measures, the service sector, agriculture, tra

de imbalances and enforcement mechanisms, according to earlier reports.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China said in a recent white paper that the US business commu

nity in China, long an advocate of good bilateral relations, can no longer be relied on to be a positive anchor.

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The country will host over 5,000 participants from mor

than 150 countries, including 37 heads of state or government, for the thre

e-day event starting on Thursday, Wang said, adding the forum, themed “Belt and Road Coop

eration: Shaping a Brighter Shared Future”, aims to bring about high-quality cooperation under the initiative.

President Xi Jinping will deliver a keynote speech at the op

ening ceremony of the forum, and chair the leaders’ round-table summit, Wang said.

Saying the BRI has delivered real benefits to participating countries, Wang stated the hats like “debt traps” cannot be put onto t

he head of the Belt and Road, and this is not something any participating country would recognize.

He added that international communities should base their understandings and comments about the BRI on the facts.

Trade volume between China and the countries participating in the B

RI has exceeded $6 trillion, the number of investment is over $80 billion and arou

nd 300,000 jobs have been created for the people from the countries involved in the initiative, Wang said.

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