By the end of April, the total value of debt-to-equity sw

ap reached 2.3 trillion yuan ($332.8 billion). More than 20 percent was for the central State-owned enterprises, including China B

aowu Steel Group Co Ltd, State Power Investment Co Ltd, and China Shipbuilding Industry Corp, acc

ording to data from the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.

David Lipton, the International Monetary Fund’s first deputy managing director, said: ” (China’s) Cre

dit growth and corporate debt have been reduced thanks to concerted efforts to strengthen fin

ancial regulation, reduce regulatory arbitrage, and improve the framework for financial supervision.”

His statement came after the IMF published a report forecasting that China‘s economic growth is expected to moder

ate to 6.2 percent this year, down from 6.4 percent in the first quarter, as uncertainty around trade tensions rem

ains high and risks are tilted to the downside. Inflation, in the meantime, is projected to rise to 2.3 percent.

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The US administration’s more often than not conflicti

conflicting goals have resulted in the trade conflicts with China an

d other countries. For instance, China’s exports to the US grew 11.3 percent

and its trade surplus with the US increased to $323 billion in 2018, up 17.3 percent year-on-year.

Moreover, Washington has forbidden US companies to sell chips to ZTE, a Chinese multinational telecommunications equip

ment and systems company, even after imposing huge fines on the company. By so doing, the US has act

ually encouraged China to increase investment in its high-tech sector. So, even if China and the US

were to strike a deal, China would be prompted to import lower volumes of energy and agricultural products from the US.

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One standard goal is to create a “level playing field” so

 that foreign companies can compete against domestic companies in each country.

In the past several months, China has announced and started to implement a “negative list” program

that allows foreign companies to have 100 percent ownership in investments in all areas of the ec

onomy, except for a small number of areas, such as telecoms and defense, that are explicitly prohibited.

Also, foreign investment has been simplified by creating a

one-stop regulatory shop and a single application process.

These new policies will lead to greater competition within China, forcing Chi

na’s companies to become more efficient and to produce higher quality products.

The Chinese government has also recently announced tax cuts and financial regulation

s designed to help private companies. This will hasten the ongoing transition to a market-driven economy.

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Instead of the traditional way where a voice artist records

 lines alone, this collaborative approach allows the voice-over performer to see the emotional cha

nges acted by others, prompting a natural reaction from an individual performer, according to Date.

“I heard that some foreign fans are learning Japanese so that they can understand the original version. We’re very proud of that,” says Date.

He adds that he hopes Chinese animators will continue to take inspiration from th

eir own culture and similarly encourage overseas audiences to learn Chinese.

Currently codirecting the anime series Magmell of the Sea Blue, a Sino-Japanese animated ser

es adapted from a Chinese comic book story of the same title, Date says he still marvels at the story’s so

phisticated narrative, which centers around the adventures of a rescuer of explorers on a newly formed continent.

Interestingly, more and more foreign animation filmmakers are seeking inspiration from China.

Marsden reveals that Sony is partnering with Base Animation in Xiamen, East China’s Fujian province, to produce the animated feature Wish Dragon.

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All of my knowledge and expertise in the space field

 was about ground operations, such as telemetry, tracking and command of spacecraft.

“I want to study satellites. I want to learn and work on communications satellites operating in low Earth orbit, because no

w we have a communications satellite in geosynchronous orbit, and remote-sensing satellites in low Earth orbit,” he said.

“I want to learn how to combine these technologies and do some research here in Beijing, s

o when I come back to my country I can help to develop our own satellite technology,” he added.

Each of Venezuela’s three satellites-one communication and two r

emote-sensing satellites-was designed, built and launched by China.

The Beijing-based China Academy of Space Technology, a subsidiary of State-owned spa

ce giant China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, is a major developer of satellites and spaceships in China.

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China’s forex reserves continue to grow in March

China’s foreign exchange reserves rose to $3.0988 trillion by the end of March, official data showed Sunday.

The amount increased by $8.6 billion, or 0.3 percent from the end of February, according to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

China’s peer-to-peer (P2P) lending industry will continue to shrink and cons

olidate due to tighter regulation and weak investor sentiment, Fitch Ratings said in a report.

The number of P2P investors and platforms declined steeply last year after regulators tightened supervision, and Fitch exp

ect more platforms to close or consolidate this year as reforms continue to take effect, leading to a smaller, less fragmented market.

Stronger regulation of P2P companies will be positive over the lo

nger term for a sector that has yet to be tested through economic cycles, the report said.

New regulations will also require many platforms to reduce their

reliance on retail investors, leading to a shift toward wholesale or institutional funding sources.

Lenders with more robust business models, established risk-management capabil

ities and more stable access to funding are likely to gain market share, according to Fitch.

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Liu Gang, the founder of PayNews.net, a Hangzhou-based

online news service focusing on China’s mobile payment industry, said to Securities Daily he

expects the run-up of cashless payments will maintain for three to five years until it takes up as much sha

re of consumption as possible, as consumers incrementally wade farther into cashless payments.

Data from PBOC revealed banking financial institutions in 2018 conducted 220.31 billion deals in non-cash paym

ents involving 3,768.67 trillion yuan, a rise of 36.94 percent and 0.23 percent year-on-year respectively.

In the same period non-banking payment institutions, mainly referring to third-party online payment service providers, had 530.61 b

illion deals, surging 85.05 percent, and the transaction volume was 208.07 trillion yuan, up 45.23 percent fro

m the previous year. Mobile payment platforms Alipay and WeChat Pay occupy over 90 percent of market share.

By the end of 2018, a total of 424 commercial banks and 115 payment institutio

ns were connected to a unified clearing platform set up by the Payment and Clearing Association of China, PBOC said.

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His arrest may have an impact on upcoming Indian election

due to take place in May.

The discovery of the alleged fraud and Modi’s refusal to return to India to face criminal charges has in

creased pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi — no relation to Nirav Modi — who promised to fight corruption in India.

Tuesday’s arrest and the possibility of extradition could help to improve the Prime Minister’s tarnished image.

Rahul Gandhi, leader of the principle opposition party Congress, has repeatedly attacked PM Modi on his failure to bring fugitives back to India.

In 2016, liquor baron Vijay Mallya left the country owning an estimated $1.6 billion to 17 Indian banks.

The process for Mallya’s extradition to India is ongoing. He has denied fleeing the country ov

er his debts and described charges of fraud and money laundering as “false, fabricated and baseless.”

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Key GOP senator with aviation oversight says he would “pr

  Republican Sen. John Thune — who has oversight of the aviation industry and the FAA as a member of the Aviation subcommit

tee of the Commerce and Transportation Committee — said Tuesday he would “prefer flying on some other plane” rather than Boeing’s 737 MAX 8.

  Thune, who is also a the second-ranking Senate Republican leader, seemed to suggest he would be open to ground

ing the planes if the evidence pointed to it, but stopped short of saying the planes should be grounded at this po

int unless and until an NTSB investigation finds there is a problem with the plane.

  He said he will also wait for the investigation before considering hearings in

his subcommittee. He said he has not talked to anyone at Boeing about his concerns.

  Reporter: Would you safe flying a Super Max 8 right now? Would you fly on it?

  Senator Thune: “Uhh…well, I guess I would uh, probably like everybody else, prefer flying on some other plane.”

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Manafort sentencing marks rare reprieve for Trump world in Mu

  Donald Trump has rarely caught a break since special counsel Robert Mueller clamped a vise around his White House two years ago.

  Yet the President likely got to savor a few, rare crumbs of comfort on Thursday as he faces down an expansive set of crimi

nal, civil and congressional investigations into his presidency, campaign, business empire and personal life.

  The Virginia judge who handed Trump’s former campa

ign chairman Paul Manafort a 47-month sentence — far below the federal guidelines for his cr

imes — also gave Trump a propaganda tool for his fervent effort to discredit Mueller’s investigation.

  Trump had already seized on new doubts about the credibility of his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who branded the President a con man and a liar in a sen

sational Capitol Hill hearing last week, but who is facing new accusations of perjury.

  Nothing that happened Thursday lessened Trump’s potential legal or political expo

sure, or repudiated Mueller’s investigation, which has uncovered a pattern of lying by Trump aco

lytes about unexplained ties to Russia. It’s a measure of how grim the last few years have been for the President that the ja

iling of his former campaign chairman could interpreted in any way as good news for his White House.

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